Posts Tagged ‘Child sexual abuse’

First it was Twitter, then it was emails, then one long phone call, and then Zima and I met up Waterloo station, and proceeded to have a Cuban/Jamaican/Mexican lunch (I truly cannot remember which one it was, but I know I enjoyed it!)

Apart from eating, we talked, a lot. From healthcare, family, work, men (duh), and dreams that we have. Zima is absolutely lovely, and I’m excited she agreed to write in on an issue that is dear to both our hearts.

I’m Zima Meli, a Nigerian citizen and looking back on 2013, I can cite numerous reasons to be grateful, two of which are: a new role and a new perspective on life.

As a result of my newly found perspective, I would like to jump up and straight into proposing a solution (in my 600-word window) to the growing problem of child molestation faced in our society. In the month of November, the Punch Newspaper reported on 13 individual rape cases, 46% of which involved children under 14. Whether it is as a result of increased reportage, or increased interconnectedness, I’m sure we can agree that we are experiencing a copious amount of paedophilia news reportage. One online news reviewer has even taken to humorously tagging these reports “news from depravity central”. But there is nothing humorous about paedophilia. At least, not for children.

Rather than delve into grueling analysis of the damage done by this, how about we discuss some solutions? How do we face this as a society? Do we shake our heads na-wa-for-this-world-ly, or push for an appropriate penalty effective in deterring these reprobates? Such as castration?

Before a bounty is placed on my head, hear me out. Castration dates back to ancient Hebrew, Greek and Persian cultures and served a number of purposes including (as time went on) punishing vile sex offenders. Many countries still adopt this (and with good results) as a means of rehabilitating sex offenders. Howbeit, the practice has shifted over time from a surgical to chemical approach (or anti-libidinal psychopharmacological intervention if you want to sound posh). Here are 3 reasons why we should consider in Nigeria.

1. It is effective. Reports from Scandinavia show a reduction in reoffending rates from 40% to as little as 5%. In developed climes, offenders admit to having lost control of their urges, and even voluntarily request castration. So, if a.) offenders admit to these offences being beyond their control, and b.) temporary measures have been shown to be effective in curbing deviant sexual behavior, doesn’t it make sense to introduce permanent/irreversible measures  to curb these crimes in societies with higher incidences and less effective solutions? Surely, it follows that if there is a valid case for life imprisonment for certain crimes, there should also be a case for permanent castration for perpetrators of crimes of a relevant nature? And before someone brings up the issue of human rights, anyone who violates the innocence of a child should accept a waiver on their own human rights, simply because children only have one chance at childhood.

2. No money to waste. In a society like ours where prison budgets are anorexic at best, this seems to me the most effective, and least expensive option – at least until we are mature enough to pamper our offenders. In the meantime, give them 10 years, ‘destroy their tools of trade’, and make society better.

3. The Bible suggests so. But does the Bible not call for forgiveness? It does, and also states that Christians are subject to the laws of the land. So, if Jesus had caught a child molester in the act, would he have asked them to “Go and sin no more”? Many scholars believe that he wouldn’t have. The argument for this comes from Matthew 18:6, and Mark 9:42, where Jesus said of anyone who causes little children to stumble, that it would have been better if they had a millstone round their neck, before being irretrievably dropped into the sea. David Instone-Brewer in his book, The Jesus Scandals suggests that this statement was aimed directly at child abusers, based on the Greek term (skandalizo) translated to the English word ‘stumble’. Apparently, the same Greek term is used in older Jewish texts, warning young men not to “gaze at a virgin, lest her beauty makes you stumble”, and also to avoid “the wicked woman who will make you stumble”. Scholars argue that this language is euphemistic, as in the popular Jewish literary culture of the time, but the implications were obvious. Jesus was talking here about child sex abuse, which he hated with more ferocity than he expressed for any other sin, and it is not difficult to see why.

Therefore, castration reserves a space for eunuchs under the category “those made eunuchs by men”.

In a nutshell, a cocktail consisting of the confessed ‘helplessness’ of offenders, an obligation to keep our children and society safe, and the failure of our existing justice system to control this menace, suggests that chemical castration offers both hope for offenders, and an effective solution for any society serious about protecting its vulnerable future.


My dear, very dear Zima! Looking peaceful like she didn’t just spit fire in this post!! And I agree with her a hundred and fifty percent!


Children are blessings – anyway you look at it, children are blessings. The good, the bad, the extremely naughty, the ones whose primary specialty are hair-raising tantrums, the ones who are content only to sit, mope, and suck their fingers, the ones who, in wanting to ‘help mommy or daddy’ end up destroying half the things you own, all of them are blessings.

I have a little nephew I love and adore absolutely, and everyday I thank God for him and look forward to when I’ll have my own munchkins. I think parenting is a really special gift/privilege from God, the responsibility to nurture and care for these precious ones is just out of this world.

That’s why I find it totally unconscionable when I hear of adults molesting/sexually abusing children in their care, or children anywhere. I mean there are other forms of abuse, but sexual abuse (especially on helpless, hapless children) qualifies as unforgivable in my books. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – while I don’t wish the experience on my children, whosoever touches my children inappropriately I will set on fire. Literally. Then we’ll go to court (me and your family, cos the plan is that you don’t survive).

Sorry, I digressed. Back to these beautiful, precious ones. It’s becoming increasingly evident that children are the product of their families – another glaring example of the ‘garbage in, garbage out’ theory. I mean there’s the place of the environment, peer pressure, societal influences etc. but I strongly believe in children building their core beings from their first, continuous interactions – their families.

It’s important that these first interactions are deliberate, directed, but still as natural as possible (sounds easy doesn’t it, lol) so the children don’t feel like they were born into the military.

Days after he was born....

Days after he was born….

You might think I’m one to talk, seeing as I don’t have any children but I’ve been around a lot (trust me on that), and hey, I was a child once too. Therefore, I can talk confidently from this side of the fence.

More thoughts than a lecture though, more about us older people being a little more careful how we behave around these ones because they get their first outlook on life, first introduction to crime, first expressions of love, first notions of right and wrong, pretty much all the firsts are from us.

If we could see the future and trace the effect our utterances would have on children around us (our kids or not) would we still say/do the things we’re doing now?

Food for thought.