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NGO Sensitizes Enugu Schools Over Child Abuse, Sexual Based Violence


…..Trains 380 Pupils

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Worried by the alarming rate of Child abuse and Sexual Based violence (SBV) cases in the Society, a non- governmental organization, NGO,
Health Care Support Services, (HCSS), has taken Sensitization Campaign against the menace to primary and Nursery schools in Isi – Uzo Council Area of Enugu State.

It said the visit to the schools is aimed at increasing the young pupils access to health information and knowledge from early age.
Project Director of HCSS, Mrs. Njide Agbasiere, who disclosed this to Newsmen weekend in Enugu, said the Organization’s Project Team under her watch, carried out the programme between 1st to 10th June 2022, during which they visited four Community primary and nursery schools in Ikem Etiti.

The programme was held by (HCSS) in partnership with Enugu based Non- governmental organization NGO, Women Aid Collective WACOL, under the Women Voice and leadership initiative (WVL) Nigeria, which is fully funded by Global Affairs Canada.

She listed other schools visited to include, Community primary and Nursery School Amudom Ikem Etiti, Isi-Uzo L.G.A, Migrant primary and nursery school Ebia in Ikem Etiti, Isi Uzo Local Government, Community Primary & Nursery School Umuege, Ikem Etiti and Divine Gift School in Ikem Etiti.

According to Mrs. Agbasiere, “the objective of the HCSS project intervention at these primary schools is to empower their reproductive rights and child rights which had been domesticated in Nigeria Laws and state laws.

She added that “giving right information and educating the children about sexual based violence such as making them know what it is, as well the early signs of sexual based violence remains important.

The project Director further stressed that the “campaign visit to the schools is also aimed at “improving information about what constitutes sexual abuses.

“Methodology used to reach the children includes, know the Rights of Children which are their fundamental human rights.

“Rights which have been domesticated in Nigeria and Enugu state, this include the right to education for all children irrespective of gender right to food shelter. Rights to prevent children from hawking on the streets and getting exposed.

“They have a right to be protected from domestic violence through use of excessive force etc.

“The children were able to get right information about gender role and differentiation and information about what they should know about their reproductive rights.

“Getting appropriate age information like when girls should expect reproductive and menstrual period and protect themselves from exposure, especially keeping better hygiene levels, use of pad when their periods comes.

Other information given to the pupils included, letting their older siblings and mothers know about their changes not peer who may not give them proper information.

“Also boys were educated about their changing bodies and rhythms which should be handled with care and diligence and not a sign to indulge themselves in masturbation or making their rising sexual awareness as an excuse to indulge in sexual assault of fellow children both males and female.

“The pupils were advised to always be open to discussion of their challenging body rhythms with their parents or older siblings not peer education which may be faulty.

“They were probed to know which of the schools have had the opportunity to have any form of sexual health and reproductive right information in the school curriculum, only Divine gifted school has been taught anything on SRHR.

“Children may be abused without knowing they are being abused so they were told to pay special attention and be observant about the behaviour of the children/siblings.

“Some signs to look out include children suddenly being withdraw, avoiding some adults who they will refuse to be left alone with.

“They may start exhibiting some inappropriate sexual behaviours not expected of their ages like pulling up girls cloth, trying to insert fingers into the private parts of other children.

“Other types of abuse could be malnourished, not getting enough food at home, they may be experiencing a lot of beating, learning with scar on the body.

“Other children may be experiencing abuses by the observations that they do not attend school frequently.

The children were educated about potential abuses which could be from persons in school who will start getting to friendly and using inappropriate words or angry towards the children especially the girl child



“Other potential sources of abusers could be parents, brothers, sisters, nephews or uncles into whose care the children maybe left by parents. Also rapes do occur.

“Signs of the potential abuse were given by the children such as when someone is trying to lure them to rooms when alone either to send them on errands or receive errands already sent by getting them to come into their rooms.

” Potentials exhibition of affection and familiarity like back slapping, hugging, and buttocks pinching before they forcefully access.

The team told the children that at the first sign of these herring behaviours that could lead to potential sexual abuse the children must tell their mums, dads (unless it is the dad who is trying to abuse them).

“Tell their other siblings or mother, the elder in their kindred. They are equally advised to tell their teachers in case of such advances.

She said some children had during the programme raised concern that their mother may not believe them when such a case is first reported.

The team told the pupils that “in case of actual abuse, the child must fight back, leaving scratch marks as evidence, which should be taken to parents, uncle or teachers.

“No silence! the children were told of child protection right which exists in the country. They should insist on their rights to be taken to the hospital after any sexual abuse and to the police.

“Do not be silent, report abuse, no matter the status or relationship of the Perpetrators you. Whether (father, brother, sister etc).

The pupils were equally given information on consequences of sexual abuse and child/abuses which includes – lack of education Early child marriage Possibility of HIV/AIDS infection, possibility of vagina rupture, possibility of other sexual transmitted infection.

Others are, psychological withdrawal depression which could lead to any substance abuse and consequence like suicide.

“Early childhood pregnancy leading to forced loveless marriage. Lack of ability to provide for self or family. Thus increasing level of poverty in their family.

“Advantages of avoiding or reporting abuses include – going to police, hospital, taking up the case and bringing the perpetrators to book.

“From the above interaction with the children, they will now know when they are potentially in danger of being abuse and also when abused both sexually, emotionally or psychologically.

The organization also noted that deprivation from schooling is an abuse of children’s right Excessive use of force and brutalization is also abuse of children and children rights violation which is punishable by law.

“Children should not keep quiet when abused, harassed, Children should insist on their rights to be taken to hospital and police when abused.

The “children should speak out to their parents or other adults who will believe them when abused, adding that children have should be equipped to handled SRHR issues when they arise.

Because “children who have good knowledge about the SRHR are more capable of benefiting lives to adulthood, stressing that child marriage is not an option and they should fight against it.

“If you hear or see it, know that it’s the right of every child to report what is happening to other children parents, awareness is heightened when children are abused or about to be abused and they tell you so that prevention and justice is sought early. The projector Director hinted that “380 children were trained in the four schools where we carried out the campaign

“Helplines phone number were given out to the pupils so that they can give to their parents both of Women Aid Collective WACOL and HCSS Executive Directors ED’s.

During the programme, “a disturbing report reached us in one of the Communities that two nursery school children were apprehended actually touching the genial parts of each during school hours which is an indication of previous abuse of one of them or practicing what they had seen older children or adults doing.


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