Child Sexual Abuse: How This Menace Can Be Curbed

The myth trailing child sexual abuse is that children are most likely to be abused by strangers but the fact is that most children are abused by family members and those they trust. One cannot begin to imagine what heinous crime it is to sexually abuse a child. Our experiences in childhood play a big part in shaping our health and well-being throughout our lives. Many adults live with scars got from experiences they had as children even though many cases are never reported. What in God’s name draws a full adult male to a child below the age of 10? Is such a man not a monster? How can you use a child for sexual stimulation or satisfaction? Both male and female children are sexually abused but the girl-child is more likely to be abused.

A few days ago, a young lady on Shutlips interactive forum opened up on how she was sexually abused at a very young age of 6 by a man who was supposed to be a family friend and again at the age of 10 by an older cousin.  These days, one cannot browse the internet without cringing at the horrific sexual acts carried out on little children by wicked adults around them. The effects of child sexual abuse include trust issues, where a person may find it difficult to trust people around them, disassociation, mental illness, anger issues, coping with stress, self-harm (such as suicidal thoughts), low self-esteem, etc. 

Many child sexual abuse survivors are embarrassed or shy away from talking about their abuse but it’s important to talk about it so that you can heal faster. Reach out to people who truly love and support you and talk to them. Some family members do not help matters. All they are concerned about is ‘family name’. They’ll rather sweep a case of abuse by a family member or friend under the carpet to save face or to protect the family name, not minding the impact of the abuse on the victim!

If you’re not sure who to talk to, there are resources put in place around you to help survivors like you deal with the impact. One of such resources is Shutlips, a platform where you can anonymously talk about issues bothering you and get advice on what to do.


Children who are abused may not speak up because they believe it’s their fault or they have been bribed with little gifts such as small amounts of money, candies, etc from their abuser. Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. The child begins to feel withdrawn, clingy, or angry.

  2. Reduced concentration: this can be noticed when their grades begin to drop at school as a result of lack of concentration on their studies

  3. You may notice physical signs such as pain or soreness in the genital area. 

  4. The child may start behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner such as making use of sexually explicit language. Remember, it’s not until there has been penetrative sex that child sexual abuse has occurred. There are several other forms of child sexual abuse e.g child pornography, touching a child inappropriately, etc.

  5. The child tends to shy away from the abuser and refuses to spend time with him or her.

  6. The child drops clues that he or she is being abused. As a parent or guardian, be sure to pay close attention to your ward/child.


There is no foolproof way to prevent sexual abuse but we can at least try. Here are a few ways:

  1. Get involved in their lives and know the people in their lives. 

  2. Carefully choose caregivers.

  3. Encourage them to talk to you about anything.

  4. Educate them on sex.

  5. Talk about social media to them so that they don’t get misled or misinformed.

  6. There should be effective policies put in place to protect children’s rights.

  7. Strict and severe punishments for children sexual abusers

Conversations on sex education shouldn’t be an awkward conversation to have with your children. Surprisingly, it is among most African parents. They either go in circles while having such conversations or totally avoid it. 

Need help with having such conversations? Are you a child sexual abuse survivor? We’d love to hear from you. You can anonymously reach out to us and share your story on our anonymous forum.

Amarachi Ezeibekwe
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