With the allegations of sexual assault and defilement laid against popular actor Baba Ijesha, plenty things keep ringing in the head and mind, some of which are; more than half of molesters and abusers are people we know and are familiar with; there are millions of abusers out there doing their things on a daily basis, using the same tactics in different ways to get their victims; and that millions of adults today have been molested in their childhood, many children – before and during teenage are still being abused on a daily basis.
Another thing that is not visible in this current case is not only girls are sexually assaulted, boys too get molested and harassed, if not by abusive elderly females, then by homosexual males. Many of them act like they are your friend or want to be your friend, make you confide in them and take advantage of you at your lowest point.
I know we have talked about sexual assault in our earlier episodes of the Dairy of A Naija Teen and what sexual assault all entails but this is another time to bring back this discussion and remind you that although you cannot prevent molesters from making their moves, but you can stop them from making THE NEXT ONE!
I get the feeling of being afraid and at some point seemingly enjoying the act (this is most times for pre-teenagers) but you have to defy all pounding heartbeats and secure yourself, your body and your sanity. Hopefully, we will have a full article on the effects of the abuse on you with an experienced profession but for today, I implore you to train yourself on these three tips against sexual assault.
1. Don’t be afraid, ACT!: when he first makes eye contacts then eventually touches you and you feel uncomfortable or when she calls you and begin asking if you have a girlfriend, have slept with a girl, touched a girl’s body and many other unfit question, you of course begin to sense something is not right.
Your heart begins to pound and many thoughts begin to run through your head and mind while you are trying to keep a good physical appearance.
The mistake victims usually make is keeping themselves in such situations until eventually, the abuse occurs, for many reasons ranging from fear, ‘I didn’t want to look like a socially low or unfit person’ to ‘I didn’t want to be awkward’, ‘I didn’t know what to do’.
Once you begin to see the signs and feel uncomfortable, ACT! Don’t keep yourself continuously in the situation.
If you need to make a story up, make it, if you need to lie that you’d be back or you need to check on your kid sibling outside, tell it, if you need to speak out louder in replying them so that others are aware of your location, if you need to make a call or send a text, DO IT ALL! Just escape if, anyhow and when you can!
2. Get evidences: many times, sexual assault victims are not believed, especially because abusers are usually people very close to us, held in high esteem or looking all innocent and too-good to do such. In a country like Nigeria, even victims with evidences still get some negativities from the society. Nevertheless, evidences is a good way to put abusers or potential-abusers to caution. A good eye-witness, voice or even video recording on your phone can help, don’t be afraid to get them immediately you start noticing the signs. Don’t wait for abuse, it is detrimental to your mental health – your sanity.
3. Speak out, threats are ways to get you the more: I earlier said that molesters and abusers keep using the same tactics – trying to shut their victims up, either directly (with the “if you tell, I’ll kill you”,
“if you tell no one will believe you or the pity point – “if you tell, I will die”, “if you tell, I will lose my job”) or in the most coded way possible (when they have built a friendship with you and now know all your secrets and they begin the blackmailing game). The more you stay silenced, the more they have power over you.
Though he has not been found guilty by a court of law, Baba Ijesha currently has no access to his victim, thanks to speaking up.
No matter how hard it is for you, no matter how much of pity and loyalty you have for your abuser or intending abuser, no matter the level of friendship and love you have for them, SPEAK UP (backed up with your pieces of evidences) to the right people, and they lose their grip on you.