Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hi all,

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.


  1. I didn't get the list but I agree with you that it is better to be safe than sorry.

  2. Inasmuch as i agree that it is better to be paranoid than sorry,i must also point out the fact that paranoia can cause more harm than good sometimes.We just have to be very sensitive,like the list you were referring to mentioned.Signs are mostly obvious to the ones that are sensitive! This awareness is very important.

  3. I understand why you feel paranoid, considering all the news we get to read these days about sexual abuse.
    Some parent wait till puberty sets in before educating their children. Pls no child is too young to learn, start early. I'm not saying disclose all details but let them know some basics. Not hush hush to everything.
    Great article Oke.

  4. I got the list on my BB.
    One can never be to careful, but being extreme can lead to negative effects.

  5. Ah poor guy. Ah well better safe than sorry they say.
    I came across one blog sometime ago her people were sharing their personal stories about abuse when they were young. To say i was shaken to the core that such happens in Nigeria is an understatement!

  6. Its better to be paranoid than sorry...hmm

  7. I believe it's about striking the right balance between protecting children from potential abuse and allowing them the opportunity to enjoy the innocence of childhood.

    As a parent myself, I'm not too inclined to the idea of 'wrapping children in cotton wool' in the name of protecting them but I can see where you're coming from.

    Children are now born into an information age and it's quite easy for them to come in contact with the wrong people or inappropriate materials. We can only keep doing our best to steer them in the right direction.

  8. I got the bbm too & Mena also put it up on her blog. It's all so terrifying. Better to be safe than sorry

  9. hmm my dear i don't blame you at all. all the stories about sexual abuse isn't funny. one should just always be alert.

  10. Messages:
    Warn your girl child never to sit on anyone’s laps no matter the situation including uncles.
    Avoid getting dressed in front of your child once he/she is 2years old. Lean to excuse yourself.
    If you have to hire a house-help please kindly take them for HIV screening to determine their HIV status, properly interview them and make up your mind to treat them well.
    Never allow any adult refer to your new born as ‘my wife’ or ‘my husband’
    Never tempt your husband with your younger sister. Avoid unnecessary familiarity and make sure you take care of your husband by yourself lest you lead him into temptation.
    Whenever your child goes out to play with friends make sure you look for a way to find out what kind of play they played together because young people now sexually abuse themselves.
    Never force your child to visit any adult he or she is not comfortable with and also be observant if your child becomes too fond of a particular adult.
    Once a very lively child suddenly becomes withdrawn you might need to patiently ask a lot of questions from your child
    If you don’t teach your children about sex the society will teach them the wrong values (you can order for parent sexuality education kit)
    It is always advisable you go through any new material like cartoons you just bought for them before they start seeing it themselves
    Teach your 3year olds how to wash their private parts properly and warn them never to allow anyone touch those areas and that includes you.
    Blacklist some materials you think could threaten the sanity of your child (that includes music, movies and musicians) and let them understand the value of standing out of the crowd.
    Once your child complains about a particular person, don’t keep quiet about it. Take up the case and show them you can defend them!
    Useful info? Pass it on please...:)

    That's the broadcast right there... Just be vigilant and pRayerful

  11. I say better safe than this world of perverts and sexual abusers, one never knows who is for real or not. God help us in this our world.

  12. you are right in this scenarios prevention is definitely better

  13. I feel you...there's too many silent victims out there and your children won't be one of them by God's grace!

  14. prevention is better ..we need to be alert...

    God help us all.

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  16. This is something to learn from as aspiring parents. God help us all!