“We live online. “That is the phrase most youngsters are using today and believe me everything about that statement is true. One would wonder though, does this online world have rules and regulations? Does Gender Based Violence occur in this vast online world? Parents today are also somewhat ‘digital Parents’ who believe that the only way to get through to their children is by being on the same level with them, Not that it’s a crime. But how would you feel as a parent knowing that your 10 year old daughter or son, is sexting with older people much less of the same sex?
Paul a 10 year old in Standard six is very vast with the internet. He own a very cool phone that allows him to socialize with his peers. His parents saw no problem buying him a phone at that age because in this era phones have become a language spoken by children.
On this day, Paul was accompanied by his parents to the hospital. Reason being Paul was defiled. The person behind this heinous act was Paul’s male science teacher. While at the hospital Paul seemed too calm, not the usual state of most victims of rape or defilement. After the nurse inquired from Paul what happened with his teacher, Paul told her that he was in love with him.
Paul admitted that he was not coerced into having sex with his teacher. He openly revealed that he enjoyed spending time with his teacher and even pleaded with the nurse to make sure that they did not arrest him. As we would have it Paul said that he had been in a relationship with his teacher for 6 months now. From the texts which Paul and his male teacher had been sending, the two had agreed to keep the relationship a secret.
This is just among the very many cases of teacher student sexual relationships that have been reported. Though most are of opposite sex, there are many where the teacher and the student are of the same sex. Maybe we should blame the online culture but how long can we really blame it? We know for a fact that the internet is not going anywhere and thus if it’s a problem, then it’s a problem that is here to stay.
But in a case where a child gets sexually involved with an adult, who should we blame? Especially when over and over the child admits that they agreed to get intimate? We have seen cases where young children run away from home to their ‘lovers.’ Some of this so called lovers are well known and established professionals in our society. In other cases some of this innocent children are introduced to lesbianism and gaysm by other children who learnt from other children. It’s a cycle that keeps going.
Perhaps children do not know the laws of Sexual Abuse. They too have become ignorant to these laws because they think that a child cannot be sentenced to jail. Maybe we should blame the adults that ignorantly choose to engage with children sexually, their excuse being, He or she said yes. Now this type of adults who are ignorant should not only be punished by the law but wherever they land, I hope it’s in hot flames. You cannot justify ignorance even the great book says, ‘My people perished because of lack of knowledge’. The law is very clear about minors, so as an adult you need to remember that you pay the higher price. I don’t think a life sentence because of ignorance sits well with anybody.
As for parents, Paul’s story is a call on you at the end of the day that boy or girl who willingly became intimate with an adult is your child. You can’t spend so much time without looking at the back of your hand. At the end of the day you are the parent and you’re responsible for your child. So whatever luxuries you have given your child, you have to ensure that you can control it or at least make sure you know what your child does on the internet, who his/her friends are. Don’t strive so much to be the coolest friend to your child and forget how to be a parent.
That being said let’s break the silence on Gender Based Violence and report any case of violence.