Gender Gender

Law should deal with child defilers

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Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
LAST week, three headlines caught my attention: ‘Defiler’s appeal backfires’, ‘Cops nab Nyimba teacher for allegedly defiling girl, 10’ and 16 boys molested’.
It seems there has been a surge in the number of cases of innocent and defenceless children being abused by people in authority or those holding some kind of authority.
What is heartbreaking is the fact that some of the victims are really young and often know their abusers, often the children are trapped between their loyalty for the abuser, in the sense that what is happening is wrong but they are unable to open up to others.
To deal with the psychological and emotional pain, affected children usually have very low self-esteem, feeling worthlessness, lack of trust for adults, an abnormal or distorted view of sex and in some cases, they tend to become suicidal.
Sadly, research has shown that children who have experienced some form of abuse are at greater risk of becoming abusers in adulthood. It is this vicious cycle which becomes difficult to break.
This outrageous behaviour calls for concerted effort by society to decisively punish these wicked predators that prey and permanently damage the lives of their innocent victims.
Communities through families, schools and churches, who are the closest to children, can prevent or lessen chances of this terrible scourge by among other things:
From an early age as possible, inculcate the notion in children that if someone tries to touch their body and do things that make them feel funny or uncomfortable, they should refuse and immediately tell another adult, not the perpetrator.
Teach children that respect does not mean blind obedience to every adult and those in authority, for example, don’t tell children to always do everything that the teacher, maid or any other adult tells them to do, especially if they are told to keep it as a secret.
Introduce intensive sensitisation campaigns on what entails abuse in the education system, so that children are made aware from an early age, because from experience, some victims are extremely young.
Remember, children are our future, until next week.
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