Can you believe it that is Mid-April already? It seemed like it was just last week that we were sending good wishes for the New Year and now it is April. Time sure is flying. Hope y'all are doing good. I am doing fine too and very thankful to God for the journey so far.
Just the other day someone sent me a broadcast message about warning girl children. I would have put up the message here but I cant lay my hands on it right now. I am sure some of you would have received it too as I got a couple of it that week. A summary of the message was about warning girl children not to allow any body to carry them including uncles, not to allow anyone refer to them as 'my wife', asking about the kind of activities they did when they go on play-date etc. It was quite a list. I agreed with some of the things mentioned and disagreed with some but generally it was like a warning bell to take charge and be a part of our daughter's growing up process. Especially to shield them from abuse.
You know how after reading something that hits home, you start getting paranoid when seemingly innocent things happen? That happened to me. We have this friend who comes around to the house sometimes. My kids love to play with him and he is so good with kids he gives them so many laughs. I never read anything to it before. The day after getting this long list of warning, this guy came around for a very short visit. After throwing the kids up, tickling them etc he was on his out. In a bid to shake my 3 year old daughter goodbye, he tickled her palm. She laughed and said "that tickles". Immediately i heard that, my antennae was on alert. I didn't know what he did, so I asked her what tickled. She said "uncle tickled my palm". Ehn, my eyes turned pink. You see where I come from when a man tickles a woman on the palm, it means he is interested in the woman sexually. I wouldn't have read any meaning into it cos the man in question is a young friend, isn't even Nigerian and I am not sure that gesture is universal. In my panic, I told my daughter it wasn't nice that uncle tickled her palm, the next time he does it she should tell him not to tickle her palm cos mommy said so and then tell me.
My husband felt I was a bit paranoid, but I am thinking it is better to be paranoid than sorry. Most sexual child abuse is performed by someone known to the child and the child just suffers in silence. Growing up, someone very close to me was abused at 5 years old by someone trusted by her family. The girl just withdrew to herself. Only God knows how that has affected her life now.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.and Child Abuse Prevention Month. Many people are assaulted sexually;men, women, teens and even young children. The time when we say it is a taboo to talk about such things is long gone. It is time to show awareness and talk about it. Let people know that it is wrong and victims to know that they are not alone. In our own way we should help in trying to bring an end to this trend.