Rape and defilement are not new societal vice, or crimes; have been a long-time issue every society wants to solve. Rather than finding a lasting solutions to them, they appears to be spreading and going deeper into the veins of the society. It’s not uncommon to have adults as victims of rape: there have been numerous cases of that. But it is highly unimaginable to see infants being defiled by extremely randy people who are actually and normally supposed to protect the very innocent children.
The children are traumatised and exposed to mental problems in their early stage of life. News of defilement of children is common and there is a call for prosecution of perpetrators all over. Rape cases are a part of the serious challenges the Nigerian police have to face: arresting and prosecuting the culprits have been their targets. There has been little effort towards protecting children that are prone to defilement. The culprits can be punished, but it can’t undo the deed that is done. Protecting the infants and other victims of rape and defilement should be the focus.
Children who hawk are more exposed to defilement. They meet different strange people in their daily business. They are unprotected, defenseless, hence, prone to defilement. They are enticed with meagre sums of money by abusers. There’s nothing bad if the government bans child-hawking and enforce such by setting up a monitoring squad. Stopping hawking will go a long way towards nipping defilement of children in the bud.
Most of the victims live with the scar throughout their life. They choose not to reveal the heart-aching injury they have suffered. This makes the issue to grow. One may think defilement of children is limited to what is read on the platforms and in the newspapers. There are many more victims who are silent and nurse the wounds. Only a handful of them talk about it to people that aren’t that close to them. The victims are afraid of their “faces”. Ours is not an understanding society. The government should open a channel for the victims, the children and their parents to tell their stories, to expose the pedophiles. There is the local government which is the closest to the people. Government can establish a department in all the local government areas to allow the victims to seek justice. Once the channel is accessible, the abused will talk. From what they say, the police can identify, arrest and prosecute the offenders. Even the modes of operations of the culprits will be known going by what the victims say.
So far, it seems that only the non-governmental organisations are determined to fight defilement of infants and seek justice for them. Government should be more concerned about this serious matter. Justice delayed is justice denied. Unnecessarily, prosecution of the suspected culprits is delayed, the interest of the victims begin to peter out – to wane. The abusers are allowed to walk in the streets, sometimes distorting the story. This leads to more emotional problems for the victims. There are few convictions so far; they even come after protracted proceedings. The delay discourages the victims from seeking justice; they prefer to be silent because there is no assurance justice will be done.
Ibadan, Oyo State.