/SPECIAL REPORT: Rape: What we do to protect our children –Parents
NAWOJ, FOMWAN, others call for arrest, prosecution of rapists

SPECIAL REPORT: Rape: What we do to protect our children –Parents

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Following the increasing cases of rape and defilement in the country in recent time, we reproduce here a special report published last year. The report remains fresh and very relevant.

The increase in cases of rape and defilement across the country in recent time has reached an alarming rate.  There is perhaps no passing day without cases of the anomaly reported.

Of serious concern is the development such that entrusting children in the care of anyone, no matter how close, is no longer advisable.

Parents and guardians who are concerned about the terrible development have employed different measures to protect their children and wards.

Below, parents express their views about the development, what they believe are the causes, how they protect their children and wards, and what they think the government should do to stem the tide.

Hajia Sekinah Temitope Lawal, Journalists,  Lagos-Nigeria

It is so sad that defilement and rape have been on the increase in recent time.  I believe that this is because our laws are not working.  When offenders are not properly prosecuted or justice is unnecessarily delayed the perpetrators are emboldened.

I think the crimes are happening because those engaged in it lack the fear of God; they lack moral upbringing.

It is also caused by improper dressing, parental irresponsibility and ineffective government policies and laws.

I am aware of the ills in the society and try as much as possible to protect my children.  Majority of them are girls.

To protect them from falling victims, I give them the needed information; I make myself their best friend and someone they can confide in.  We discuss all issues with love.  Although I am a no-nonsense mum, I always give them room to express themselves and I listen attentively.

From a tender age, I educate them on practically everything including hygiene, menstruation, HIV/AIDS, and so on.

I warn them against intermingling with opposite sex. I tell them that at any attempt by anyone to touch them, they should SCREAM, RUN and REPORT. Also, we don’t allow them to watch films where kissing and other intimate actions occur.

Largely, I can’t trust anyone with my kids, maybe because I have mostly girls; not even family members.  At different times, I had refused having any house help or allowing friends and families to live with us.  That does not mean that we don’t help friends and family members in other ways that will not compromise the security of our children.

No one can be absolutely trusted with kids these days. Since you cannot always be with them all the time, we need to make them to be properly educated and informed.

Decent dressing will also immunise them against becoming victims of terrible predators waiting out there to prey on little innocent ones.

We have brought them up in the way of the Lord and with the right morals, they will be able to discipline themselves at every opportunity.

I have given them the necessary guidance and enlightenment on sex education, security and safety.

It is a law in the house that daddy, mummy and even grandmas cannot send them on errand once it is 7 p.m. I usually avoid them going on holidays and unnecessary visits to neighbours, family and friends.

My advice to parents and government is that we need to bring up the children on the path of God, spend quality time with them and be vigilant.

The government in particular should ensure that those found culpable are jailed to serve as deterrent to others.

We must enforce decent dressing, watch their friends and be prayerful.

Mr. Dotun Adebambo, Technologist

The issue of rape and defilement has become too common these days and it is very bad for our society.

I blame the increase on lack of sex education, use of hard drugs, betrayal of trust, poverty and broken homes among other social problems.

The best ways the problem can be reduced and possibly eliminated are to give proper education to our children; we should not leave them with just anyone including members of the family or relatives and even neighbours.  This is because most of the cases of rape and defilement are carried out by those close to the family; those one would never expect would do such a thing.

Parents should also be responsible and try to meet the needs of their children or wards.

Government on its part should create the needed awareness about the menace and enact laws that would be severe enough to prevent those who may be thinking of committing the crime.  If the laws are very strict and are effectively implemented, many of those criminals will be scared and not want to be involved.

 Mrs. Adesida Abiodun, Education Officer

The cases of rape and defilement, in my own view, have never been this rampant.  The rate is quite alarming these days. We have a very serious case on our hand. It is terrifying.

I see the root cause of the crime in irresponsibility on the part of some men, and carelessness on the part of parents and guardians.

As a parent, I seriously warn my children from trusting any man to the extent of following him or collecting anything from him. I devote so much time on bringing them up properly to be morally upright.  I would therefore advise parents generally to be closer to their children.  They should make themselves their children’s best friends.  With this, they will be able to relate very well and nothing would happen to the children without the parents having an idea or a premonition.  So, where necessary, the parents will be able to come in and thwart any negative occurrence even before it happens.

Government should make the punishment for offenders more severe than what it is now. These could help reduce the increase in the cases of rape and defilement in the society.

Mrs. Olamitundun Kayode, Admin Officer

The increase in rape and defilement has become too rampant that it makes most parents afraid to entrust the young ones with anyone. Even schools are not really safe for children any longer because some female and male teachers that are supposed to teach morals also engage in immoral acts.  Uncles, aunties and fathers are not left out in these terrible acts. The danger is not limited to the girl child.  It applies to the little boys too.

As far as I am concerned, the increase in the cases of rape and defilement is caused by the lack of fear of God. Anyone who has the fear of God in him or herself will not destroy the lives of young children.

Technology is another major cause as the increase in the use of phones has made pornography easy to access. After watching, some would want to practise what they have watched.  I observe that most schools don’t teach sex education any longer. They believe the world is so exposed that every child knows it all, but that is wrong.

Indecent dressing is another cause of rape and defilement. How can a lady put on shorts that are supposed to serve as underwears in the neighbourhood.

Dressing up your young female children like adults is wrong because not all men or women are disciplined enough to control their sexual urge.

Another cause is entrusting children with strangers like home lesson teachers, school teachers, uncles, aunties, step fathers. People should be careful the kind of friends they keep too.

To prevent our children from falling victims, I don’t allow my children to access my phone without guiding them.  The same goes for my husband’s phone.  They are not allowed to watch movies that are not meant for their ages. Even the ones meant for their ages we watch before they can because some cartoons too are corrupt. We teach them to fear God. No matter how young a child may be we should always teach them morals. I don’t entrust my children with strangers, even family members aside myself and my husband.  I always warn my daughter not to hug or sit on any uncle’s laps. Even the father always limits her when it comes to himself so that she will not believe she can be free with other men like that. They don’t go on holiday without me or their father. And I always give room for small talk on what happens or their experience in class on a daily basis; I do that too on their experience at home sometimes when I am not around. Not giving room for discussion will prevent them from telling some things happening to them that you may not ordinarily know about.  I dress my children according to their ages.

Another very vital point is prayer. It is very essential.  We cannot be with them at all times but our prayers for them can go a long way.

My advice to government is that all rapists or defilers should be hanged. I believe that if they known that once they are caught they will be hanged they will put a stop to it.

*This report was first published on May 1, 2019 by FrontPage.