Esther was the form teacher’s favorite, everyone thought so as he showed favoritism when it came to her, always buying her gifts and giving her high test scores he always made her stay behind after school to help him score assessment tests, or run one errand or another this was just an excuse he used to create opportunities for his evil act towards her.
Everyone envied Esther and didn’t understand why she stayed sad despite all the attention she was getting, but who would understand what she was going through, who would believe that beneath the mask of care and favoritism, Sir Henry was taking advantage of her and making her do things kids her age would never comprehend. Who would she tell that this was a reoccurring event, one that started when he was her lesson teacher and her parents left her in his custody fully trusting in his innocent acts, not knowing what an evil man they had let loose in their home. At first he made the caresses seem like accidents, from there he would grope her and later apologise that it was her growth sprout that was messing with his mind. This continued till the day he forced himself on her, after which he pleaded that she told no one about it . Since she never spoke up he continued his wicked act while she fell into depression losing a bit of her soul and hope daily, she couldn’t even report to the head teacher because Sir Henry was the perfect staff and an awesome teacher and everyone would think she was only trying to defame him. Even her parents adored him and made him her caretaker when ever they weren’t around.
Was this the life she would have to live , was there a way to be saved or was death the only way out Esther wondered.
This story is one too many times what ladies have to face, though it might vary from one woman’s experience to another, it still leaves its scar deeply rooted in the person’s heart and mind. The battle is only half fought by drawing attention to the situation, but action has to be taken to protect these children. A national Survey carried out in 2014 on Violence Against Children in Nigeria confirmed one in four females reported experiencing sexual violence in childhood with approximately 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study, it was found that about 24.8% of females’ ages 18 to 24 years experienced sexual abuse prior to age 18 of which 5.0% sought help, with only 3.5% receiving any services.
Studies conducted in Nigeria disclose that young girls are victims in majority of reported assault cases in hospitals. A four-year review of sexual assault cases at LASUTH that began in 2008 and ended in December 2012, showed that out of a total 287 reported cases of sexual assault, 83% of the victims were below the age of 19. A one-year survey conducted at Enugu State University Teaching Hospital between 2012 and 2013 revealed that 70% of sexual assault victims were under the age of 18. In the Enugu survey, majority of the victims knew their perpetrators and the assault occurred inside uncompleted buildings at the victims or perpetrators residence.