Sexual assault, neglect affecting children’s education’

Rape

Eric Dumo

Physical and sexual abuse have been identified as one of the major factors affecting the education of children across the country.

Making the assertion in Lagos recently during a sensitisation and awareness march to promote children’s rights and education, the Project Coordinator, Iyaniwura Children’s Care Foundation, Matilda Otitoloju, said that every child had a right to quality education, regardless of the financial condition of their parents or guardians.

Otitoloju also noted that an abused child might never fully recover from the traumatic experience, thus ending his or her dream of becoming a useful citizen in the future.

She said, “Child abuse is a serious problem in Nigeria. Although the government is trying to raise the level of awareness on this social menace, there is still a lot more to be done.

“We are supporting the government in raising awareness on this national tragedy. But, to achieve this, we must also educate our children so that they can know what is good or bad for them. Every child has the right to education; no child should be denied this right whether their parents are poor or not.

“As a matter of fact, the damage an abuse can do to a child’s psychology and education is everlasting. A lot of children commit suicide annually because they cannot deal with the trauma and stigma. To address this problem critically, I think there should be stiffer punishment for child molesters to serve as deterrent to others.”

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