THE nation is still reeling from the shock of the shameful incident.
On Friday, September 1, 2017 police busted a sex party-cum-competition and detained about 70 depraved teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years in Lusaka’s elite Woodlands residential area.
The incident has raised debate on who to blame for such display of moral decay by the children, who are expected to be the future leaders of this blessed nation.
Some of the girls were only dressed in bras and bottom underwear (knickers) while some boys were only in boxers and bambas, topless.
The police had to order the mostly drunk delinquents to dress up.
Other details are too embarrassing and disgusting to be discussed openly.
As if the abuse of alcohol were not bad enough, several ‘opportunistic couples’ were allegedly having illicit sex.
Of course, some of the young ‘patrons’ may have been coerced into participating through peer pressure, but they had the choice of not joining.
Such incidents impact on boys and girls disproportionately.
The girls are not only more vulnerable to sexual abuse but also more negatively affected than their male counterparts because of physiological and social imbalances.
Almost always, while the girls are driven by adventurism and sheer naivety, the boys, who are usually older and the initiators, have sinister motives right from the beginning.
Their main interest is to sexually ‘sample’ the girls and later boast about it.
As far as the naive girls are concerned, it is fun, but for the boys it is ‘harvest’ time.
Many girls who have had such experiences have ended up suffering serious psychological damage, which sometimes has degenerated into personality disorder, immoral or criminal behaviour after being sexually abused.
Such damage could last a life time and affect other members of society, including friends and close family members.
The more ‘sexually alert’ older boys take advantage of the electric atmosphere and the over-excitement it generates to convince the girls that there is nothing wrong in taking a sip or two of alcohol or dancing suggestively with members of the opposite sex.
Gradually, the girls drop their guard and are no longer able to recognise the danger lurking behind the seemingly harmless cross-gender interactions.
Even the shiest of them begin to become emboldened, allowing boys to cuddle and kiss them seductively, a prelude to something more serious which they end up regretting later.
The boys secretly lace the girls’ drinks with highly potent liquor such as whisky, brandy, gin or rum, or even narcotic drugs, which strips their ‘prey’ of all their ability to protect themselves from sexual exploitation.
The bitter realisation later that they foolishly allowed themselves to be sexually abused and stripped of their human dignity leaves the victims confused and devastated.
Self-hate, shame, guilt, loss of self-worth and bitterness replace excitement. It is no longer fun!
Such girls suffer quietly; too ashamed to share their plight with their parents.
Parents, be alert! Has your pampered ‘baby-girl’ suddenly become moody, detached, edgy and evasive?
If so, watch her closely or, better still, talk to her ‘nicely’. She needs help.
Besides the psychological trauma such girls suffer, they end up with unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
Because of the absence of a public psychosocial support system in the country, the victims are likely to live with the psychological scars for a long time.
And since they secretly blame society for their violation, such girls tend to harbour a deep-seated desire to revenge and are likely to become dangerous abusers in adult life.
The Woodlands scandal is no small matter.
This is why the Zambia Police Service should resist the temptation of doing free public relations on behalf of the delinquents and their parents as it appears to be doing.
The author is Zambia Daily Mail production editor.