Abuja: Women ‘Walk Against Child Molestation’

A group, AbujaMoms on Saturday held a peaceful ‘Walk Against Child Molestation’ in the streets of Abuja.

Abujamoms is a women’s support/meetup group founded by Mrs. Happiness Ani in 2017.

The group kicked off the walk from the popular Unity Fountain, Abuja.

Abujamoms saw the necessity to organize the walk against child molestation as there was constant increment of incidents of children being molested all over the country.

“Knowing that Child Molestation is one of the silent crimes due to the misplaced fear of stigmatization yet there still exists evidence of alarming statistics that records cases of child sexual abuse. This shows that it is about time that this evil is fought headlong hence Abujamoms is starting by creating awareness through this “Walk Against Child Molestation.”

“Child molestation is a crime that involves a range of indecent or sexual activities between an adult and a child under the age of 18yrs. And this can come in the form of “Sexual assault” (inappropriate touching of a child’s body making a child touch someone else’s genitals or forcing or coercing a child into playing sexual games or having sexual intercourse), ‘Sexual exploitation” (making a child view sexual acts, pornography or masturbating in front of a child or exposing an adult’s genitals to a child) or “Sexual grooming” (using a child in making pornography).

“Abujamoms being a women empowerment group is using this medium to enlighten the public especially mothers on the fact that these molesters don’t come as masquerades, but rather are more likely to be relatives or acquaintances of their victim than strangers. A researcher stated that about 30% of all perpetrators of sexual abuse are related to their victim, 60% are family acquaintances, like a neighbor, babysitter or friend and 10% are strangers.

“We began discussions on the Abujamoms Platform on the menace of child molestation and we discovered that a lot of women suffered from this abuse when they were children themselves and their abusers were never reported and as such they never got closure. Many still harbor the pain and shame and that has held them back from giving their best to the society. A lot are scared to speak about it, so this awareness is very important and as mothers we say it’s time to end the silence because we are no longer willing to stand aside and watch our kids being molested, live in fear and pain which can linger throughout their lifetime.

“For victims, the act of coming forward takes great strength and courage thus when a child does disclose abuse, we should begin by believing. The child is a victim and we want it to be clearly defined, a child’s involvement with an adult offender should never be considered consensual or consenting.

Abujamoms calls on the Law Enforcement Agency to uphold the Part 111 of Child Rights Act adopted by Nigeria in 2003 which prohibits every form of sexual intercourse, sexual abuse and exploitation with a child. We plead with the public to see it is an obligation to report every case of child molestation regardless of who is involved.

“We hope that this awareness walk today would enlighten parents on the need to be more protective of their children, encourage victims to speak out in order to get justice/closure, awaken the Law Enforcement Agency on the need to uphold the laws protecting children from sexual predators and equally serve as a deterrent to those who harbor such evil thoughts.

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