December 3, 2022

Foundation unveils manual to tackle sexual abuses in schools

By Dapo Akinrefon

WORRIED over the rising cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation in the country, a non-governmental organisation, Protect The Child Foundation, PTCF, has unveiled a book, titled ‘The Trainers Manual’, for schools in the country.

In a statement by PTCF, the handbook, which was launched recently in Abuja, is loaded with information on how to prevent, respond and report cases of child sexual abuse.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Trainers manual, PTCF Executive Director, Elizabeth Achimugu, disclosed that her desire to give confidence and hope to the abused was the driving force behind her establishment of the Foundation.

The book was launched as a club in five Abuja-based schools- Junior Secondary School, Lower Usman Dam, Bwari Area Council; Junior Secondary School, Kpegyi; Junior Secondary School, Kurudu; Junior Secondary School, Nyanya II; and Local Education Authority (LEA), Nyanya II.

She said PTCF is committed to the protection and defence of the innocence of children against all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation with a vision to create a safe childhood free from sexual abuse for the African Child.

“In 2017, after I had my first child I was beginning to wonder about sexual safety most times people just talk about girls but I know boys too can be abused. So what can we do about these things, I realised people don’t like to talk about them. When it comes up people just want to push it aside and that is what gave birth to Protect The Child Foundation,” she said.

Reviewing the handbook, the Second Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Clement Chukwuemeka, described the manual as very informative and educative in eradicating child sexual abuse in the country.

Chukwuemeka said: “The book is a classic, collective research, and findings of medical doctors, lawyers of repute, journalists of impeccable character, law enforcement agents of wonderful character, civil society activists amongst others….the book had been published to bridge the gap and create the needed awareness towards eradicating child sexual abuse in our society.”

The Trainers Manual comprises nine modules covering issues around the medical perspective of signs and symptoms of an abused child, understanding the concept of sexual grooming, age-appropriate sex/sexuality education, important laws on child abuse in Nigeria, and how to get justice for survivors of child sexual abuse, interviewing and counselling of survivors of child sexual abuse.

The book also contains lists of appropriate agencies to report sexual abuse in Nigeria, global care lines and their contacts, and more.

Some highlights of the event featured, a video presentation of how PTCF started, it began on Facebook in 2017 but has now reached over three million people both online and offline with various outreach where writing materials were distributed to students to encourage them in their studies and sanitary pads to girls to help curb menstrual poverty and also increase the attendance of girls in school during their menstrual days.