Just like every other victim of sexual abuse, here is a story of a naive and innocent 12 years old pupil
On: November 12, 2019
On September 6, 2019, Punch newspaper published a story about a primary school teacher that raped and impregnated a 12-year-old pupil after giving her illicit drug which enabled him to take advantage of her.
Why we stepped in?
It is unfortunate that the child’s life has changed drastically and she is faced with the responsibility of having another life to take care of. She basically knew nothing about sex and never could she have thought that she would be raped.
As a victim of circumstance, she kept quiet about it until people noticed the changes in her body and dug deep into the issue. Questions like what if I told someone and they don’t believe me especially in a society like ours? Was this my fault? How could this happen to me? How could someone that was supposed to protect me take advantage of me? would have been running through her mind.
In Nigeria, many stories about sexual assault have been swept under the carpet especially with the level of decay in a supposed system (the law) that is meant to protect you. There have been cases where victims were tagged liars or delusional for reporting a rape case.
The paedophile blamed the act on the devil but how long can we continue to blame the devil on what we did in our sanity. Although the culprit was arrested and promised to take full responsibility for the mother and child, he has to face the consequences of assaulting a minor. This is why we stepped in.
Through our ITakeActions platform which is designed to empower and encourage citizens to take action to solve issues that pose obstacles to education access and demand accountability from the government. We urged citizens to sign a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which is saddled with the responsibility to promote and protect the human rights of Nigerians, that the issue would not be ignored and the culprit would be brought to book according to the law.
Fortunately for us, the NHRC responded to the petition and linked us up with the Adamawa state office for further engagement. From this, we can see that if citizens continue to engage the government rightly, the government would have no choice but to respond to citizens’ demands appropriately.
This is why we are calling on all citizens, let’s stop the silence and continue to take actions. In relation to this issue, sexual predators should be made to face the consequences of their actions and no one should be above the law. I urge you to continue to take action for the Nigeria you want to see, go to www.itakeactions.org and signup.