Although there’s a general saying that no one grows up wanting to be a paedophile, much to our dismay, paedophilia is increasing in Nigeria and globally.
One common trait in paedophiles is that their sexual preferences do not mature like everyone else’s; they usually maintain interest in children, toddlers or even infants. An adult who prefers children as sex partners is called a paedophile.
In 2015, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that one in four girls and one in ten boys had experienced sexual violence before the age of eighteen, with half experiencing physical violence. Approximately two million girls in Nigeria reportedly experience sexual abuse every day.
It is regularly becoming a norm to see different cases of child rape in the media. However, the girl-child is affected chiefly as men old enough to be their fathers rape them, inflicting emotional and physical scars on them.
According to a survey by Positive Action for Treatment Access, over 31.4 per cent of girls said their first sexual encounter had been rape or forced sex of some kind.
Male acquaintances lure their victims that they seemingly send on errands only to pounce on the innocent girls and sexually assault them.
The conditions that increase girls’ risk of sexual abuse vary from child labour, poor parenting, poverty, environments, etc. Another survey conducted by the Child Protection Hub (CPHub) shows that only 27 per cent of all respondents who admitted to having witnessed child abuse reported the case to the necessary authorities.
In a country like Nigeria, where only a few victims and their family members would dare to speak out and turn a blind eye to the stigma associated with being a rape victim, an improvement in the child protection structures in the country cannot be overemphasised.
By statistics, there are paedophiles in every corner of Nigeria, in every State and Local Government Area; they are all over the country and not peculiar to just one part alone. The people you trust and family members could be child molesters. Hence, everyone needs to be vigilant.
We at Citizens’ Gavel have mustard the seed to address this issue head-on and will continue to provide quick and efficient access to justice, especially for victims of Pedophiles.
Do Not Be Intimidated by Sexual Predators; Dare To Speak Out!
For complaints on sexual and gender-based violence, reach out to Citizens’ Gavel for prompt legal support via: 0810-284-2542.
Taiwo Makanjuola, a Communications Associate writes from Ibadan, Nigeria. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.