It is the seventh day of #16DaysofActivism and today thought of talking about the abuses that children go through. This in particular is sad for me, because I know many children go through it. Some cases might be known to us, while others suffer in silent.
Child abuse is the harm brought on children sexually, physically, psychologically etc. As of 2018, Unicef reported that atleast 36.6% of girls and boys have experienced sexual violence before turning 18. That is a huge number to be taken lightly. The same report also indicated that 46% of girls were married before 18.
Although we have many NGOs combating on fights against child abuse, the number are not ceasing.
Don’t normalise child abuse
About a month ago, I was on a trip with a couple of people. During this time, someone sparked up a debate. The question was:
Can you date a 16 year old girl?
Many answers started pouring in from the guys in the bus. One thing I noticed was that most said they would. Their reasons being, “nowadays, a 16 year old looks old enough.”
Well, yes. A 16 year old might look old enough, but are we really about to neglect their age? Puberty hits at whatever age, it does not mean that they are old enough. It does not give you a right to molest them and manipulate their minds.
A child can not give consent to indulge in sexual activities. Therefore, those that have normalised child abuse have come to terms with the fact that they are perpetrators.
When a child is 16 or less, they are just getting to terms with the changes in the physicality. They are just learning about their hormones. Often times, they will want to try sexual activities with people. And yes, most times, those that are older than them. Sometimes, for girls, it makes feel like they are now grown. However, for an adult that fully knows and understands what the child is going through and instead of guiding them choose to prey instead, are perpetrators.
Some of you might be thinking, “well she asked for it.” Let me say, “well, you could have done better than thirst on a child.”
A lot of children do not understand that they went through abuse until they are 18. It is only during moments of them being young adults do they understand that they were preyed on.
Teach them kids while they are young
Kids need to be taught while they are young. They need to know that not everyone that smiles to them has their best interests are heart. They need to understand when they are being preyed on. It is a hard task, but one that has to be undertaken.
At the same time, it is my wish that a lot of countries like Malawi finally start registering sex offenders. Child molesters need to be put in a database that can easily identified. That way, it can somehow bring normalcy.