Before you Read This:
I am a funny person. I believe that everyday goes better if you have laughed like a hyena. I believe in being childish. In walking away when people irritate me instead of getting into a war of words with them. Yes this post has injections of humour. Yes, everything in this post actually did happen. No, I am not permanently damaged. And yes, I have forgiven every one of the people here. But forgiveness does not mean forgetting. The reason one name is mentioned and the other isn’t is because I have proof in one case and none in the other. Sucks, yes, but that’s the way life is.
I remember a time in secondary school when someone slapped me, right across the face. I so wanted to slap him back. And I would have but for 2 reasons:
1. I had a crush on him.
2. 3 people pulled me away before my brain could give my hand the order to move and return the slap. Still, there are some nights when I think back, see my fists clench and wish I had returned that slap. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing this.
Because although I did not deserve that slap and so severely wish I had returned it, I can’t return it now. Even if I saw him now, even if he gave me the slightest opportunity to, the chance is gone. The context has disappeared and slapping him now will warrant explanation upon explanation or degenerate into a full blown fight and I don’t have the energy or inclination for either. But I definitely have the inclination to fight this war.
I have been sexualized since I was 11 years old. Which incidentally was the same age that hediot (a male idiot) slapped me. Go figure.
It was in my house. By my lesson teacher. While my little brother lay sick in the next room, this particular hediot puckered his lips and made to kiss me. I slapped him. He obviously did not get the message. He tried to touch my vagina. I slapped him again. What followed next was a comical chase around the house. My house (my parents’ actually).
Now the obvious thing for me to have done would have been to run outside and scream at the top of my lungs. I didn’t. I wish I had, but in this particular instance, I can still scream, not just for me but for the millions of people; girls and boys going through this silently.
He remained my lesson teacher, funny thing.Then my little brother’s. And so from age 11 to 15/16 the incidents continued and I told no one until the third day I found him in my bedroom, in the morning, on a chair, watching me sleep. Then I told 2 of my cousins/family members/those people who are not exactly your family members but spend so much time in your house you consider them family. And then the incidents stopped. My parents knew nothing of this until last year.
At age 16/17, I went for an interview, an internship position, and I met the second hediot (well, the third one actually, if we count the dude who slapped me). This one was stylish in his pervertedness. From the interview stage where his left hand kept straying perpetually to my trouser clad thighs as I sat beside him writing multiple letters for his assessment (he is a lawyer specially concerned with arbitration,writing articles and books and teaching other lawyers how to write) to the time I locked myself in the toilet in his house/office because he decided to stop being stylish in his pervertedness and step out into the light. In so many ways, I wish I had taken a vacation that summer. But hindsight has 20/20 vision, doesn’t it?
The most recent incident of sexual abuse was last year, during my externship period in the morning while I made my way to court. There was a man walking toward me, an arm extended. In the time it took for me to give him and his arm way, he had tapped current (that “refreshing” Nigerian slang we give to sexual abuse). And I had to deal with questions from pretty much everyone around including the man who stopped my fingers as I was getting ready to punch him, as to whether he was my boyfriend. He was not.
The main reason I’m writing this article is because I keep thinking of something someone once said to me when I opened up about the first hediot and his wandering lips and hands. She said, “Uju, we’ve all gone through it. It happens to everyone”, and comparing it to multiple testimonies I’ve heard about people cured from an addiction to pornography, having multiple sexual partners or multiple abortions. In some of those cases, it started with just one lesson teacher/babysitter/auntie/uncle/mom/dad with wandering hands and no self control.
While the Nigerian National Assembly debated whether to vote to legalise child marriage, I shared so many articles, pre-written by others as to why it was a terrible idea. There is no such discussion now, no trend right now concerning this problem but I knew I would not be able to sleep this night until I wrote this article.
Paedophilia, paraphilia and pederasty (Sexual or erotic feelings or desires directed by adults and late adolescents towards children; particularly, in psychiatry, adult sexual attraction to prepubescent children) are mental diseases. Given the fact that sex is a touchy subject, sexual abuse and street harassment are tarred with the same brush too. And that is the other reason I’m writing this. I have taken the abuse, the harassment and stifled every feeling concerning it, relying on my self control to get me through. But last year, my self control snapped. Repressed words came out in very high decibels. And when no words came out, I just screamed. That’s how my parents found out about the lesson teacher debacle by the way.
Don’t pass your mental disease to me
Paedophilia is the one mental disease that re -enacts repeatedly. Multiple times. If you don’t believe me, please check Google. Or watch October 1 (Kunle Afolayan). However, just as there is no forgiveness for thieves who have had things stolen from them, there should be no forgiveness for rapists and paedophiles who were victims themselves.
I’m tired of having insomnia. I’ve had it since I was 11. I’m tired of being afraid of having kids. I’m tired of having the beginnings of panic attacks every time I go to the market. I’m tired of not talking about it. My fists clenched about an hour ago and I knew I had to talk about it.
THE OBVIOUS SOLUTION
Kill them all. Every last one of them. Or, lock them in prison. Cut off their penises, or put habanero pepper in their vaginas on an hourly basis and give them no food or drink till they die. Lol.
The obvious solution is not the wisest.
If I had slapped that guy back then, I have no doubt that he and I would have fought. At that age, when the difference in our bodies was just making itself known, I have no fear that I would have held my own but ultimately, he would have beaten me. It is the same with this issue. A city, a society, a country divided against itself cannot stand.
So, much as I relish my daydreams of the bridge littered with dismembered genitals and steaming vaginas, I alternatively recommend that every state have a book/list/record of sexual offenders; even our brothers in the North. I recommend that all victims be taken for medical as well as psychological treatment, preferably free (Support Mirabel Centre in any way you can please) and every school have extensive sexual education.
Furthermore, teach little kids/ big kids self defense (give to Stand to End Rape please), help educate people (also give to Slum2School and the Destiny Trust), report any suspicious behaviour of a sexual nature to the police and please whenever the police get an account number for the renovation of their barracks, help then too (it is naive to expect sympathy/action from anyone who lives in those conditions).
More than your money, we need you to spread the word.
To the victims: It is not your fault. No, that flash of prepubescent leg did not bring this to you. No that stolen meat from the pot does not entitle Uncle Sunday to make you suck his genitals or Auntie Bunmi/Chika/Ekaette/Hadiza to touch yours. Yes, mummy/daddy/auntie and Uncle still love you and always will. And yes, we will keep Uncle Sunday and Auntie Bunmi/Chika/Ekaette/Hadiza away from you. If you see them anywhere, tell us. Come let’s go to a special doctor/ psychologist (depending on their level of understanding).
To the offenders- After reporting them to the police and having their names registered as sexual offenders, “Never come near my child again. If I ever see you around them, heaven help me, I will kill you.
By no means is it a precise science. Nor does it cover all such incidences. This is just a guideline. I expounded more on it in an article I wrote last year (http://inbetweenpeople.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/sexual-abuse-how-to-effectively-deal-with-it-and-contain-it/).
May God give you the grace to deal with such situations. It is difficult. But it is doable. So please TAKE A STAND.
1. Hediot Number 1 (Lesson Teacher) was/is named Sunday Mofolusho Oyeyemi Adekoya.
2. I sucked no one’s genitals nor had mine sucked. I did not have abortions nor have I been raped. I have not become a paedophile nor gotten addicted to pornography. I just have insomnia, had severe bouts of depression, feelings of worthlessness, guilt and shame climaxing last year in manic depression aka bipolar disorder. I don’t have it anymore but yes, it happens. Even in Nigeria.
PLEASE HELP SOMEONE TODAY.
PLEASE OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SHARE YOUR STORY.
PLEASE STOP SEXUALIZING CHILDREN.
PLEASE STOP COVERING UP FOR PAEDOPHILES.
Some recommended resources-
And if you want FREE Christian resources and Ebooks- go to http://www.biblesnet.com/ebooks.html.