“Conversations with children about their body safety should be open and ongoing, Parents should not just have a ‘talk’’, but they should get into the habit of having several talks with the children. Educating them on what is right and wrong when it comes to the safety of their bodies,” Help Healing Hope-kids First stated.
Children face sexual abuse from people closest to them who do it and get away with it, as most of them are close family members and are not normally suspected; they are also in a position to threaten the children should they speak up about any indecent touches.
According to a UNICEF report of 2018 on sexual abuse, about 25% of children below the age of 17 have experienced sexual abuse.
Without intervention, most of these children grow up thinking it was their fault and feel they were responsible for the abuse they served and failed to report or speak up when faced with these challenges.
“Sexual abuse is an epidemic in society, affecting 1 in 11 children before the age of 17,” the UNICEF report stated.
Sexual violence is all forms of sexual abuse, which encompasses acts of non-consensual sex acts, attempted non-consensual sex acts, and abusive sexual touching.
Abusive sexual touching includes fondling, pinching, grabbing, and touching one around their sexual parts without permission.
Recently, a head teacher, Edison Bwabusa, of Bubukwanga primary school in Bundibijo District, was arrested for seducing and touching a female pupil on her private parts inappropriately, by promising to give her a new uniform and giving her a bursary. She escaped while crying and reported to the school’s senior woman, who reported to police.
According to police spokesperson Fred Enanaga, parents should be open and teach their children early enough to know that no one is allowed to touch them inappropriately at any one time.
“I call upon parents to teach children resisting skills, to be assertive, and report people who do such acts to them,” said Enanga.
The UNICEF report reveals that many children who are faced with sexual abuse turn to alcohol or drugs for self-medication to help with the anguish; others suffer from various mental health problems that may limit their ability to function; others wind up in the prison system; and many simply continue to suffer in silence, unable to trust others or even their own judgment.