Some parents still see discussing sex with their wards as a taboo or shameful thing, need I remind you that we are in the 21st century where the children have computer brain and easily digest what they see and want to practice what they see or hear, gone are those days where children are scared to explore or try new things.
This is a wakeup call to all involved, parents and schools need to come together to educate the children on sexual intercourse, sexual harassment, and its effect, children should know and identify parts of the body, parents need to stop giving encoded names to the body parts which actually confuse the children and open them to abuse. Parents need to get friendly and free with their children so they can open up and be confident that they will get answers to their questions.
A typical example of parents’ negligence when it comes to building relationships with their child, is that of a young girl named Ifeoluwa. Ife is the only daughter of her parents, she was a beautiful, smart, intelligent, and bright young girl till the devil struck. Her father, a businessman, was always busy and travels a lot, her mother, a banker, was barely present.
Ifeoluwa had no one to talk to or confide in, her mum uses her weekend to rest or go for spa sessions or attends parties leaving the running of the home to their help, who could hardly speak English or even have a meaningful conversation. Life was boring for the young girl who never holds her parents’ attention.
One particular day, Ife went to visit her classmate who was absent from school that day. Unfortunately, her friend was not at home but she met the elder brother and his friend who lured Ife into the house and told her to wait for her friend to return, Ife did not know their evil intentions. The two boys gagged and raped Ife and took her virginity, filled with so much hurt and shame, Ife went home with torn undies and clothes in tears.
Naturally, a mother should notice the changes in her child but then her mum got back late as usual. Ife was scared of talking to anyone out of fear of been scolded for visiting her friend’s house because her parents had sternly warned them never to do such, thus she suffered in silence.
Life was never the same again as the girl grew cold and withdrawn from school and all other activities, till one day she went for weekly choir rehearsals at the church. During the practice, the pastor noticed something was wrong with the very lively Ife so he asked her to wait behind. The pastor, a young handsome bachelor who every teenager aspired to be like, was trusted and respected by his members so Ife felt secured enough to wait.
Unfortunately, the clergyman who was supposed to be of better judgment and counsel also took advantage of the already chattered and grieving girl, and like we always do, blamed the devil for his ill-actions. You can imagine the state this young lady would be in; shattered, ashamed, used, worthless and what is worst is that no one seemed to care or noticed she was gradually fading away, not even her parents.
The trauma of the whole event greatly weighed on her health causing her to collapse during dinner with her parents on a weekend. Ife was rushed to the hospital where she received treatment. Amidst the treatment and hospital attention, Ife revealed to a female doctor about her ordeal, how she was sexually abused by different men at different times, and having no one to talk to. The Doctor felt very angry, called out both parents on their laxity and negligence when it comes to their children. The parents were so livid with shame and blamed the other for the unfortunate incident that befell their daughter.
Eventually, the culprits were arrested and charged to court but then the scar and the trauma remain. Ifeoluwa, though studying overseas is forever scarred. This could have simply be averted if parents were more concerned about their children’s wellbeing and take time to educate no just the girl child but also the boys about sex and its ripple effects especially when it’s not consented to.
The truth is there are so many Ifeoluwas out there living with this scar, and so many waiting to happen, its time we inculcate sex education into our school curriculum. Its time we educate our younger ones on the topic of sex, rape, and its ripple effects on the victims, educate them on the need to speak up and seek justice, educate them to be self-aware and security conscious, and above all, create a fair and comfortable atmosphere for our kids and wards to feel secured enough to reach out when such cases arise.