Keep Children safe from defilement and rape
Keep Children safe from defilement and rape
Defilement is having sexual intercourse with a person (this includes both boys and girls) under the age of 18 years. It doesn’t matter whether the person has given consent or not. In short defilement is any sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 18 years old, whether or not the child consents. I decided to write about it because it has become rampant of late.
What does defilement and rape do to your child?
– physical injuries inside and outside of the body- cuts, tears, and severe bleeding among others
– Psychological damage to victims – depression, fear, anxiety, and distrust .Unwanted pregnancies. We have seen children giving birth to children.
– HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases
– Victims are often forced to drop out of school.
– Social stigma and this usually extends into adulthood.
Why are numbers increasing?
It is with a heavy heart that I write this, and am hoping together we can do something in our different countries, cities, councils and villages.
In my country Uganda we have registered over 6888 cases of child defilement in the last six months. Does this ring a bell? Yes- pandemic effects.
This breaks my heart as I know that it’s not only my country that was affected by the pandemic. Many children could be suffering in shame, distress but fear to come out or report.
This can happen to children of any race, socioeconomic group, religion and culture. We all have at one point for over four months been confined in one place or house. As a parent to many, I will share with you a few tips on how to safeguard your children and this will help a little bit in reducing the risk.
First off, you are all wonderful parents and guardians and would never wish any harm on your children. But if something happens to your child, as we know the devil is on the move, remember that the perpetrator is to blame, not you nor the victim.
Get involved with your Child.
This is basically a wake-up call to the cooperates, extremely social parents who spend more time away from their children. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what you are missing.
Being actively involved in a child’s life can make warning signs of child sexual abuse more obvious and help the child feel more comfortable coming to you if something isn’t right. If you see or hear something that causes concern, you can easily take action to protect your child.
• Show interest in their everyday life. Ask them what they did during the day and who they did it with. What games did they play after school? Did they enjoy themselves?
These probing interactive questions are an opening to things unknown to you. Keep it routine and fun.
• Be in the know of the people involved in your child’s life. Know who your child is spending time with, including other children and adults. Try as much as you can to be detailed child’s life.
Learn and know their friends at school, in the neighborhood, parents of their friends, and other people they may encounter in case they are involved in more social activities like swimming and football.
• Choose caregivers carefully. Whether it’s a babysitter, a new school, or an after school activity, but most of all, be diligent about screening the care givers for your child.
• Monitor and be involved in their television and internet activities.
You Must Encourage Children to Speak Up.
When someone knows that their voice will be heard and taken seriously, it gives them the courage to speak up when something isn’t right.
You can start having these conversations with your children as soon as they begin using words to talk about feelings or emotions. Don’t worry if you haven’t started conversations around these topics with your child—it is never too late.
• Teach your children about boundaries. It is key to make sure that your child knows that no one has the right to touch them or make them feel uncomfortable. The touch I am talking about include hugs, pecks or kisses from grandparents or even tickling from mom or dad.
It is important to let your child know that their body is their own. Just as importantly, remind your child that they do not have the right to touch someone else if that person does not want to be touched.
• Make their bodies known to them. From an early age, teach your child the names of their body parts. My dear African parents, teach them the right parts and exact names not mimes.
Teaching a child these words gives them the ability to come to you when something is wrong. Be mindful of the boy child. Majority are neglected.
• Avail yourself as a parent or guardian. Set time aside to spend with your child where they have your undivided attention. Let your child know that they can come to you if they have questions or if someone is talking to them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
If they do come to you with questions or concerns, follow through on your word and make the time to talk.
By the way it takes a village to raise a child and a community to build a nation. Share with your networks and increase awareness. Together we can have a better tomorrow for our children and youth.
Should you have any query or comment, please do not hesitate, drop me an email and we chat.