Ugly Trends in Child Sexual Molestation, Rape and Incest: A View from South West Nigeria.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:42
Oral Presentation
Justina ARUNA, Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria
Out of the blues, sexual molestation especially rape and incest is suddenly on the increase in Nigeria. It seems, somehow, that many Nigerians have lost their once cherished values of decency and responsibility, with several cases of adult males assaulting young under-aged girls being widely reported daily in both the print and electronic media. Most times, these heinous acts are perpetrated by trusted neighbours, uncles, respected grandpas, revered pastors, imams, or teachers and even fathers. Benefitting from documentary data assessed from the internet and national newspapers, In-depth Interviews (IDIs) were conducted with some personnel of NGOs, the Police, Courts and notable victims for the study. The paper submits that sometimes, the victim is cajoled and benignly taken advantage of; but oftentimes, it is forceful, violent rape; leaving the victim physically and psychologically bruised and scarred. In some extreme cases, the victims – especially those who resist, lose their lives or get maimed for life. The study identifies that both the Criminal and Penal codes in Nigeria, on child sexual abuse, are not stringent enough, while the Nigerian Child Rights Act, has not been enacted by many States of the Federation, to address the problem and also the issue of delay in the Courts. The Police are equally hampered by lack of specialised training/skills and poor logistics for quick responses. The study strongly suggests that child sexual molestation can be significantly reduced through aggressive mass sensitisation programmes at all levels, while the formal punishment for sexually abusing a child should be quite severe and even to the limits of the law, to serve as deterrent to others. Parents/guardians especially mothers should be careful and vigilant.