There has been a lot of recorded rape cases in the news in our country recently. These acts although frowned upon in our communities, still have not received the needed attention both till now.
It has become very necessary for parents to know how to protect their children from such perpetrators. Although children are being targeted, not all children are at risk of being abused sexually. Studies have shown that some groups of children are at a higher risk of becoming rape victims than others.
1. Children from a poor family: Poverty poses a great risk to the health of families, communities, and nations as a whole. One of the many risks is the risk of children being raped. This is mostly due to the community or neighbourhood they live in, the level of education of the parents, their lack or inability to seek legal representation if such incidents happened. Children born to poor parents need protection.
2. Children in rural basic schools: Let me ask you, of all the rape cases recorded in school how many were in Private schools? It is a known fact in Ghana that parents who are well to do send their children to private schools (Primary and junior high schools ). Therefore there is an almost 0% risk of getting your child raped in a private school. This is because the people know the parents can take you on.
3. Children from broken homes (with single moms ): Having both parents around to care for a child creates a protective shield for them. But when a marriage breaks and single parenting sets in, especially in cases where the mother is left to care for the children, people with these bad intentions tend to think the mothers are not able to stand up for their kids without the father. Especially in cases when the woman is uneducated.
4. Children who experience poor parent child relationship: Children depend on their good relationship with their parents to form other relationships outside. When there is a gap or an unfriendly one between them and their parents, they are likely to extend that need for attention and care to others who may take advantage of it to abuse them sexually. It is important for parents to strengthen their bond with their children to avoid misplaced dependency.
5. Children who are left at home with no proper supervision: In this modern-day where parents are mostly busy and have little time to spend watching over their own kids; it is easy for them to be left in the care of an unqualified caretaker. Such practice exposes the children to sexual abuse and other kinds of abuse.
6. Children who live with their step-fathers: It is more common to hear about a step father sexually abusing his step child than to hear about a biological father doing same. Mothers who have their children living with step parents should be aware and vigilant to avoid such malpractice.
7. Children who are in abusive homes: No one likes to live in an unhappy home. Children who are from abusive homes like to stay out to prevent the negative energy at home. These children are sometimes exposed to people who might abuse them sexually. The sad part is that such children are mostly not heard when they complain to their parents.
NB: These children listed here are at an increased risk of being sexually abused. But it doesn’t mean that all children in these categories are or will be abused. Prevention is better than cure. And knowledge is power. Now that you know, you have the power to protect your child.
picture by Trevor Cole.