There is a tendency to assume that some social ills do not, or cannot happen in Nigeria. The broad trend of thought is that some of those ills only happen in Europe or America and that they are the products of sick minds or at worst, symptoms of mental illnesses. And because of this assumption, it is easy to close our eyes and even pretend that some very untoward things are not happening before our very eyes. Yet, we cannot deny the fact that child sexual abuse, or pedophilia is growing to epidemic proportions in Nigeria.
It is easy to use tradition to disguise some of these acts, and often, the perpetrators – who are often the rich and powerful go scot-free after causing serious physical and psychological damage on the victims, who conversely are usually on lower economic and social pedestals. The damage is often life-long, but how many have paused to reflect on the impacts of child sexual abuse on the lives of the victims?
Some cases may have been visible and well publicized of late, but many others go unnoticed in our society and even our homes. For those affected by this Issue, the effect is that they often feel stigmatized and therefore reluctant to bring the abuse to public attention. Child sexual abuse does not only involve body contact but also exposing the child to sexual materials or sexual situation. It is a form of abuse that many children are subjected to, but which society conveniently ignores…. [continued…]