Other examples according to RAINN includes – fondling, obscene phone calls, exhibitionism as mentioned above, masturbation, intercourse, oral or anal sex pornography, or any other sexual contact that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional or physical well being.
Most sexual abusers are familiar to the child they abuse, example, family members, family friends, neigbours or baby sitters. These abusers are mostly men as we can see in the report below by Chioma Gabriel on September 2014 thus:
I was Disvirgined by my father Stella Maris was sixteen years old when she got admission into the university to study Economics. She is a very brilliant student and made the best WAEC result in the secondary school she attended. A day before she moved into the university campus her father took her on a shopping spree and spent a fortune on her and she went home happy in preparation for moving into the campus the next day. But something strange happened to her that night. Someone crept into her room and forcefully had carnal knowledge of her. In the morning she saw blood stains on her bed sheet and rivulets of semen on her thighs. She did not understand it because her father was the only male at home as her male siblings were all schooling abroad. She confided in her mother, the next morning, although she looked shocked, she dismissed Stella’s story as the figment of her imagination and told her not to discuss it with another. She moved into the campus the next day and focused on her education. But during lectures one day she fell very sick and fainted and was taken to the medical centre. Her parents were called after a test conducted on her revealed she was pregnant. It was her father that drove to the campus and picked her. But surprisingly, he didn’t take her home immediately, rather he drove her to a hospital where he had her pregnancy terminated within a short while. It then dawned on Stella Maris that the person that disvirgined her was her father. She again confided in her mother who dismissed her allegations as arrant nonsense and warned her to be very careful. Then during her long holiday at home, the attack became frequent to the point that she demanded her true paternity from her mother.
Embarrassed by the whole scenario, her mother warned her again to be careful. Eventually, Stella had cause to leave their home to Lagos and seek refuge in a shelter belonging to a Non-Governmental Organization. Her mother made several trips to that NGO’s home trying to explain the predicament but Stella remained there for months and she eventually quit school. At that shelter, she met others like her, teenagers who were sexually abused by their fathers, cousins, and other close relatives.
My Husband Fingers Our Daughters
Moreso, Sele Eradiri of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Broadcaster who featured in a weekly Popular Programme Newshine before her death in 2012 , once showed a family in Ikoyi Lagos, where a 38year old man allegedly defiled a six year old daughter of his friend.
The mother of the girl also accused her husband and alleged that he inserts his fingers in the private parts of his own daughters. This claim confirms the fact that most children are sexually abuse by people who are close, even very close to them.
Some behavior that may suggest that a child is sexually abused include: nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation, seems distracted or distant at odd times, sudden change in eating habit e.g. (refuses to eat, loses or increases appetite, has problem swallowing), sudden mood change like anger, fear, and insecurity. Others include unusual fear of certain people or places, thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad. Exhibits adult like sexual behaviours, language, and knowledge; suddenly owns money, toys, or other gifts without reason; bed wetting; thumb sucking; develops new words for private parts; resists removing cloth during bath; plays sexual games; depression; sexual promiscuity; fear of intimacy or closeness, running away from home, talk much about an adult friend; suicide attempt etc.
On the other hand, physical signs of child sexual abuse may be seen in the form of first pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth.
Secondly, pain during urination and bowel movement. Thirdly, wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training. All the above should be looked out for in children to be at alert to stop any sexual abuse. Parents that are non-challant about their child’s behaviours should be more mindful, especially of their female wards’ behaviours.