Dr. Grace Ijarogbe, who is a Consultant Psychiatrist, has called for the elimination of child rape through education, justice and information systems.
Ijarogbe, who worked at the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos State as a Consultant Psychiatrist of Adult, Child and adolescents
Dr. Ijarogbe said, eliminating child rape through this process will make the society be alert on any rape issue across the country.
She said it is usually difficult to gather child rape data due to the absence of reported cases by victims due to stigma, fear and blame.
“Many of the cases of child rape are not reported by the victims’ parents, either because of fear of stigmatization, lack of awareness, poverty or threat by the suspected culprits.
“Parents must be available for their children and they shall also endeavor to monitor the friends they keep at home and in school in order to avert any looming threat.It is often only disclosed in adulthood that about 17 per cent of men and 25 per cent of women surveyed were sexually abused as children”,
Ijarogbe further explained that children, who live in extreme poverty and deprivation, among others are vulnerable to rape.
According to her, the effect of rape on the child, might go undetected for years due to fear, distress to families and difficulties with adaptive functions.
“Several laws had been enacted against violence on a person, but have not been effective due to ignorance, stigmatization and public outlook of a court system. Till date, only 17 of the 36 states of the federation has adopted the Child Rights Acts into their legislation.”
The expert said, that data from the NOI Polls Survey indicated that North-Central, North-East and North-West have the highest prevalence of Child Rape in Nigeria.
She however, urged parents to teach their children, especially girls the simple safety skills like appropriate dressing, how to walk and others.
“Governments, families and the society should provide safe environment for the female gender and address the cultural values and norms that support and tolerate sexual assault.
“Parents should always have open discussion with their children, both girls and boys, on normal sexual development and sexuality.”