By Olayinka Latona
For Rukayat Oyindamola Haroun a 10-year-old JSS one student of Rose Valley high School, Oladoje Oko Oba Lagos, the recent workshop on self esteem building and personal healthcare organised by Media Concern Initiative for Women and Children MEDIACON was an eye opener and the beginning ofÂ Â liberation from child abuse and resentment of self-esteem from all negative thinking and idea.
She is of the belief that sex education and adequate orientation of teenagers in Nigeria would serve as a veritable stepping stone in stamping out the menace of sexual abuse in society.
Rukayat who spoke to Good Health Weekly shortly after the thought- provoking workshop said â€œI am overjoyed today because of this programme, because children are no longer going to keep quiet on the issue of sexual abuse. We know that when you keep quiet the abuse will continue. Initially I was thinkingÂ it was the normal talk show, but when the speakers started, I knew we were in for something serious.
Since my primary school days, I have wanted to be involved in a sexual abuse programme, in that there are a lot of teenagers that where abused daily and they donâ€™t know the rightÂ person or place to go to. Even most of our parents do not know what to do when there is issue of sexual abuse. It is either they kept it as a family issue while the child involve will be emotionally and physically imbalance.
And now if any of my friends or neighbour is involve in any sexual abuse I can easily learned a helping hand to him or her, because I have been educated and I know the right place and person to talk to.â€
Rukayat urged Federal and the State government to provide adequate and free care health facilities for the masses, especially at the grass roots. Also politicians and those in various government positions should not be left out when it comes to the issue of sex education. Rukayat said, there are some politicians who were involved in sexual abuse andÂ Â the government ought to teach the politicians also.
Moreover, speaking about the punishment that can be melted out to the abusers, Rukayat is of the opinion that abusers should be jailed because the act they committed involves life and future of an innocent. Saying the child might even contact HIV in the process â€œAbusers should be jailed and not spare; these people are running the future and leaders of this great nation. If they were jailed, others will learn from it and they will stop the awful act. If they were jailed they will learn their lesson and never continue, but if they were left unpunished they will continue molesting children.â€
However, she mentioned that various institutions like schools, religious houses and families should endeavor to teach and enlighten their children and wards about sex education that it should not be a hidden issue any longer.Â Â She said parents should endeavour to train their children so to be good ambassadors..
Aloma Peace EmmanuelÂ had never heard about self esteem before the work shop, but he would now advise his mates to always cultivate positive self esteem and work hard towards their goals in life. â€œRight from today I have leant how to cultivate positive self esteem about myself, I have started thinking positive about myself and not negative.â€
On the other hand, Folake Modupe Bankole who is the Senior Victim Advocate of Media Concern Initiative for Women and Children described the adolescent stage as being a challenging period and time advice parents that the vital tool to use during adolescent stage is communication. She said parents should always create an avenue for their children to reach out to them whenever they were facing any challenge.
â€œParents should be more observant, friendly and patients with their children especially when it comes to the stage of handling their children adolescent stage.â€