THE Teens Economic and Social Development Foundation has led a campaign against the increasing rate of child sexual abuse in the country.
The group recently staged a five-hour awareness walk around the Ejigbo and Ikotun areas of Lagos State to draw the attention of parents, caregivers and relevant agencies.
Speaking during the event, the Founder, TEENSED, Mrs. Ogechukwu Ezeokoli, said the exercise aimed at sensitising the people that the child sexual abuse was real and the act was being perpetrated mainly by those that were well known by the victims.
Ezeokoli identified ignorance, carelessness, societal negligence, cultural beliefs, lack of proper counselling of the abused as some of the factors responsible for the increasing rate of child abuse in the country.
She spoke on the theme, ‘Child protection is everyone’s responsibility,’ and listed constant advocacy, public awareness, health talks and sexual education as some of the measures to solving the problem of child sexual abuse.
She also commended the Lagos State Government’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team for collaborating and partnering other agencies by ensuring that the problem is tackled especially in communities and the grass roots.
She said, “We are here to let the parents and members of society know that they have a huge responsibility of protecting the children from sexual abuse through proper and early sex education. We are telling them that sex education is as simple as teaching children from a very tender age to call every part of the body its proper names.
“There are several reasons for the high rate of sexual abuse in our societies today, though not excusable. It ranges from ignorance, carelessness, societal negligence, cultural beliefs, lack of proper counselling of the abused and the abuser etc. We have met children who were sexually abused without knowing that what happened to them is called sexual abuse, therefore they don’t even have the need to report.
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