I first noticed that I have a delayed response to things when I first saw the 9/11 pictures. I saw it in class and looked at it as I would my English text book. Forgot about it, crossed over to the hostels, went for my meal, went for siesta and then suddenly broke down in tears. I remember how my dorm girls gathered around me like I had just received some bad news from home, many could not understand it when they heard its because I saw some pictures, in fact I'm sure they didn't believe it.
Tonight I watched Love Lounge with Oreka Godis, Dr Lanre Olusola and another host. The topic was abuse but this time they delved into a form of abuse we don't often hear about or speak about enough. Sexual abuse in children. Abuse by their peers, abuse by their parents, abuse by their relatives, abuse by their care givers, and anyone else imaginable. I watched it as I would anything on TV but on getting to bed my heart is suddenly heavy and there's a lump in my throat as I remember some of the stories:
Dr Lanre Olusola read out letters from children as young as 7yrs of age who are presently being sexually abused at home. One 7yr old wrote him saying that he caught his father having sex with the maid and his father has been begging him not to tell his mum, and while still dealing with that the maid has started touching him and fondling his privates. So now he does not know what to do.
Another story from another 7yr old whose classmate keeps touching him when they visit the loo. His classmate (a boy) tells him that his penis is too small and that he needs to start having sex so that his penis can get bigger, and he's since been looking for someone to have sex with. These are 7yr olds.
A 9yr old girl also wrote and said that she lives with her mother and her boyfriend, her mother's boyfriend touches, fondles and has sex with her. In addition to abusing her sexually he also abuses her verbally, telling her things like she smells and that her panties are always smelly. She once told her mother but her mother beat her and asked her to stop lying.
Then the story of the 3yr old who's Sunday school teacher had been molesting. (The message here was that no matter how young you child is, teach him/her the correct names of their body parts. State clearly that this is a penis and this is a vagina.) apparently when they come back from church the little girl of 3 who could not speak clearly yet will say "daddy... Teacher, my kokori" "daddy, teacher played with my kokori". Daddy never LISTENED to what his daughter was saying beyond the words she used so he thought that she was either joking or Kokori was a toy. Till one day during service he looked back and saw his little daughter walk by with the teacher. By the time he found them the teacher was having sex with his 3yr old daughter in the toilet.
Similarly a 2yr old girl who had been raped by an uncle. She would say "his nail... my bumbum". No one understood her till they found out 3 years later that the uncle had been all along putting his penis (nail) in her vagina (bumbum). The mother was devastated for not understanding earlier what her little girl meant.
There were several more stories but by now you get the gist. Abuse in children is very real and one needs to be very watchn. This is coming from someone whose own didn't leave her traumatized but almost sexually confused (which is why I never judge homosexuals).
Earlier on this evening I went grocery shopping and this man wouldn't leave me alone. He came to me, started chatting me up, gave me his card and then continued to hover around me. I needed to buy two standing fans and I had to wait for them to go bring them from the store and assemble them. All in all I was at that place for about an hour. For this whole period this man followed me around and was practically slobbering all over me. Now why this was weird, he not only wore a wedding band but came with his 3 children. So while he walked behind me, they walked behind him. It was like walking with a train. I was wondering what kind if father will do this in front of his children, even one of the guys who was assembling the fan kept on mumbling insults at him under his breathe. When time came to go he insisted on carrying TWO standing fans and following me to my car with his three tired and confused children walking behind him. It was very awkward and nothing I did made him leave. I didn't want to insult him in front of the children so I tried to be as polite as possible. When we got to the car he tried to kiss me, in front of his kids! This time I shoved him away and shut the door. I just couldn't make sense of this. What kind of man acts the fool in front of his three young children (I think ages 9 to 13)? Makes me wonder about this world we live in.
My take home from Love Lounge tonight was this:
-It's never to early to educate your children about sex, educate them as early as possible.
-Use the proper words when teaching them, point out parts that are private and parts that are public and make sure you use the proper words for the privates, eg Lips, Chest, Vagina, Penis and Anus.
-Everybody is a potential predator so don't trust your children with anyone, your house help, relative, neighbour, in-laws etc
-Watch you children closely for red flag, if they suddenly become afraid of someone, or suddenly become rude to someone or uncomfortable when that person is around, that's a red flag, watch that person closely.
-Be weary of uncles who always offer your children sweets and always ask them to sit on his laps.
These are what I learnt and I'm sharing, if you want to know more about this matter all you have to do is google it.
Goodnight. I may be MIA for a while.