With all sense of modesty and humility, I’ve had several intimate discussions with teenagers (Young boys and girls) and I can confidently say these young minds are going through a whole lot. Trust Me…
A focused young lady of Ijeshatedo Senior Secondary School during our School outreach
A whole lot goes on within the hearts of our young ones.. (A focused young lady of Ijeshatedo Senior Secondary School during our School outreach)
Interacting with the young Men of Ijeshatedo Senior Secondary school
The opportunity of interacting with them so closely is one of the things that our outreaches to secondary schools, Tutorial centers (aka Jamb/GCE lessons) e.t.c. exposes me to especially during the counseling and private health related adolescent matters.
Private Counselling at one of our Outreach Sessions..
Interacting with Teenagers at one of such Secondary school Outreaches…
General Session with the Teens at a Secondary School in Lagos.
General Session with Teenagers at Ogun State
We always try to ensure that the individual requesting for counsel is effectively counselled by a more mature figure in my team of the same gender in order to facilitate an effective follow-up.
Although some times, there is often a twist to it if we are having a greater population of a particular gender in a school requesting for attention and we have limited number of counsellors hence the need to be more discrete in our approach and facilitate the required solution.
For the purpose of this post, , there was an incidence – a Real life experience (through our field work) that happened sometimes back which I would be sharing for the benefit of all.
It just happened that this seems to be a very peculiar case. Its one of the numerous amazing intimate conversations that I’ve ever had and that we helped in providing a way-out.
This conversation was with someone I would refer to as ‘BABY GIRL’ for the purpose of this write-up. She’s a beautiful 13 year old with great potentials; she’s quite intelligent, very tall and slim for her age such that if you were meeting her for the first time in an outfit other than her school uniform, You might mistaken her for a model- because she fits perfectly into the typical model description.
Here’s a brief of what happened to BABY GIRL:
‘Baby Girl’ called me one fateful day using her mum’s phone in the midnight (around 12 am) and told me that she has certain things to discuss with me, she then told me that she is currently sneaking up to call me on her mum’s line because she doesn’t have an active phone (hence she would delete the call log on her mum’s phone afterwards) but that she wrote my number down when I came alongside with my team on different occasions to address them in their school. She knew what she was doing was quite wrong but she really needed a solution because some things were bottled up within her. I told her that I would create some time to be in her school the next day so we can discuss at length.
Fast forward to the discussion, She told me how she was enticed by one of her teachers who was quite generous and manifested greatly a free flowing money spending habit towards the students. The man was fair, had a white luxurious Jeep and was definitely into ‘something else’ other than teaching. Unfortunately It was a girls’ only school and this man’s subtle act endeared him to the heart of majority of the senior female students especially those from an indigent background. Subsequently after some time, BABY GIRL had few close interactions with this teacher wherein she got some ‘free cash’ that helped sort out some stuff.
From there, the man capitalized on her basic needs (knowing that the family’s means of survival was an uphill task), constantly used money as a bait; took advantage of that and started arranging during school hours for her to meet him in undisclosed locations outside school where he takes her in his car to hotels, his residence and often times other unconventional places. The teacher took advantage of the girl’s minds so much that Baby Girl would go to school dressed in school uniform but in her school bag is another house wear/gown that she could easily change into. This man is in his late thirties or early forties yet he easily manipulated this young 13 year old girl and performed highly derogatory acts with this her.. Forcing himself through the anus of the girl, and lots of other sexual perversions which is better left unsaid than imagined.
Sexual Molestation involving Minors is disheartening
A Sexual Abuse scenario with a MINOR. Psychologically, these teens are traumatized. Source: Google Stock Images
When I was informed about this by BABY GIRL herself, It clearly showed that she wasn’t pleased with what had happened and was tired of bottling it up. This evil man alongside other Perpetrators of disastrous acts such as this most likely always threaten their victims and usually always thrive on the secrecy of their rendezvous.
Sexual Abuse through Threats..
Sexual Abuse through Force Source: Google Stock Images
I alerted the counselor of the school, we sought BABY GIRLS’ consent to alert her mum so that proper medical checkup would be performed on her. The mother was pained, she cried profusely and was almost blaming herself for her child’s predicament. The school counsellor, a very matured christian mother was able to pacify the mother and we made progress thereafter.
Upon our intervention, BABY GIRL strengthened by her mother’s support had repeated visits to the hospital, was psychologically handled by a seasoned health professional and thankfully she’s much better now. Of course, that man (the teacher) is no longer in the school! We initiated pressing legal charges against him since there were enough evidences and moreover since BABY GIRL was a MINOR but the parents were scared of the stigma for the young girl. We assured them that BABY GIRL would be safe AND NOT STIGMATIZED because she’s a minor and this is a serious Sexual assault case which would convict the man allowing him to be severely punished by the Government yet they didn’t agree.
These are some of the things that happen in this nation, parents are often times afraid to press charges when it comes to certain delicate matters and they don’t also want to use their hard earned money (cash that isn’t enough sef) in settling lawyers and court cases. It is simply ignorance because in cases where a minor is involved, It would be taken care of by the government against the perpetrator of such act and also there are even agencies that have been set up and are well equipped to prosecute cases like this. An example is the Mirabel Center affiliated with Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) amongst numerous others. Furthermore, in schools where some of these incidences occur, matters like these are treated ‘underground’ in order to protect the school name and in some cases the prestige/ego of the principal such that their tenure isn’t associated with such derogatory acts which could tarnish his/her name.
Yet in my opinion – All these seems ‘selfish’ because the predator (the perpetrator and initiator of such act) could prowl on another young girl and make her his next victim using money again as bait hence the cycle could continue and our community would be endangered because the predator is yet to be severely punished.
A Minor is an individual either male or female that hasn’t attained the legal age of 18 years and is been forced or cajoled to do certain things which are oftentimes against their will but have to succumb to the elderly figure especially due to cultural or religious values…
Sexual Abuse facts involving boys and girls Source: Google Stock Images
This is one of the unforgettable memories I’ve had while interacting with teenagers in secondary schools during our teams’ (MINE Teenage Ministry) outreach visit to the schools, hence I would be enlightening us on some COGENT POINTS:
GOD’S LEADING AND EFFECTIVE FOLLOW-UP
It is very essential that a visit to a school by your organization geared towards an intervention strategy is committed into Gods hands and that He directs you effectively. He alone can help you such that all your acts are divinely and strategically led. Most importantly apart from the knowledge you have acquired over time, He alone can help you to speak seasoned words that would be needed or specific for that one teenager at that exact time because you never can tell what the young boy or girl is going through at that exact moment.
From my little experience, I would emphasize that after interacting with the teenagers in a secondary school or a tutorial center, It’s noteworthy to say that FOLLOW-UP is very essential. It doesn’t stop at that one time visit of your NGO or Religious organization but a continuous dedicated effort and well strategized team-plan which helps to breed trust, continuity and also helps the teenager to confide in you certain things that he or she might be going through.
SEXUAL ABUSE. What exactly is this menace?
Sexual abuse is sexual activity without consent, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of persons. These acts can happen through images (pornographic images), physical abuse (rape), verbal (offensive comments or jokes) and non-verbal (staring and licking of lips). Sexual abuse can also happen in form of threats, bribes, humiliation, manipulation and violence. It often involves someone exercising power over another such as an adult over a young person to obtain sex.
We Need to all ARISE against this menace. Lets reduce this scourge.
What is Rape?
Rape occurs when a person penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any part of his or her body or anything else without the consent of the other person. Essentially, it is when someone is forced, manipulated or threatened into having sexual intercourse. This can happen in any setting, at home, on a date or in public spaces. In most cases, girls and women are victims of rape but boys and men are affected as well. Rape is a crime. It can be a very painful and traumatic experience. Rape is an act of violence and humiliation which can lead to risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Many girls think that a rapist looks dangerous but it is important to know that a rapist can look like a harmless stranger or be someone close to you.
Here are some other forms of sexual abuse
Child Sexual Abuse: This is when a parent/caregiver or any adult or someone more powerful – pressures, coerces and/or forces a child (below age 18) to engage in sexual acts. The abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional.
Stalking: occurs when a person willfully and repeatedly follows, watches and/or harasses another person. It is a pattern of repeated unwanted attention, harassment, contact or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
Sexual Harrassment: is any unwelcome/unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, it can be verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. For example, sexual comments on a person’s physical attributes, kissing, or touching oneself sexually for others to view etc.
A very disturbing act of Sexual Harassment. Lots of young ladies experience acts like this in different forms (at schools, within their neighbourhood, on the streets, at parties – when dancing and lots more)
At schools, you see teenage young boys intentionally hitting the breasts or buttocks of a lady and feigning ignorance. Likewise, it’s also evident on the streets seeing street urchins harassing young ladies, hawkers and at times motorcycle riders engaging in all sorts to young ladies.
This is the end of EPISODE 1 in this Enlightenment SERIES.
I would be giving more information and engaging us better in the next post starting with ‘Myths about RAPE (The Misconceptions)’ and also I would be sharing some of my other experiences with teenagers.
Lets keep shining our light wherever we find ourselves.
Remember that EVIL PREVAILS when the seemingly GOOD PEOPLE SAY OR DO NOTHING. Don’t keep quiet, rather influence people positively in your own little space.
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