By Olaitan Oye-Adeitan
Has the girl child now become nothing other than an object to be shredded rather than treasured,valued and nurtured?
This question is borne out of the fact that hardly would a day pass without reports of sexual harassment in the form of rape or defilement as the case may be.
On a daily basis,the media is awashed with stories of the girl child being raped. Little girls even as young as one month to five years old equally go through the agony of defilements.
It baffles one however that perpetrators of this dastardly act are fathers, brothers,uncles, guardians, neighbors,teachers and head teachers alike.
These are people who ordinarily should protect, guide and care for these innocent,lovely and beautiful beings.
Like a lion laying in wait for its prey are rapists in their evil scheme to pounce on an innocent girl who goes through her day unsuspecting of a hunter that may have laid ambush for her.
And the hunters hide even in the most unimaginable places; the schools, church,houses of neighbors or among relatives.
The victim is now left to bear the physical and psychological trauma which ,if not properly managed could leave on her,a permanent scar.
So, where then is safe for the girl child?
Perpetrators when they have succeeded in carrying out their nefarious act even go to the extent of threatening to kill their victim if she dared to expose them.
While some victims come out of this experience alive,it is unfortunate that some lose their lives in the process, without getting justice, leaving on the heart of the victim’s family, double loss and sorrow.
Unfortunately, if ever caught and charged to court,the rapist on many occasions is granted bail due to weak legislation on rape issues.
This inflicts more wound in the heart of the victim.
While the law stipulates a twenty years imprisonment for rape cases, it is however sad that very few offenders had been made to serve the prescribed jail term, making others to keep mute on it.
If the dignity, welfare and future of the girl child would not be left in jeopardy, it is high time the law began to take its full course on rapists, by punishing culprits regardless of whose ox is gourd.
Parents must be alert and curious of unfolding events around and behavior of their children.They should give their little girl the freedom of expression anytime she wants to discuss with them.
Often times, many kids are left to nurse their pains silently alone due to refusal of their parents to listen to them and erroneous belief that a child has no issue of concern.
The custody of these children is equally vital, especially when parents are not around.Any unusual closeness or attachment from neighbors, friends or unknown individuals with the girl child must also be investigated by parents and challenged where necessary to avoid unsuspecting danger.
It is advisable that parents do not overlook the importance of educating their female child on the realities of life and how to blow the whistle in case of rape attempt.
The community also has the responsibility of keeping an eye on activities and movements around them so as to quickly expose any shady or unwholesome act.
Everyone should bear in mind that the child you save today may just be your only hope of tomorrow and a future beacon of her society’s progress and development.
A News Commentary By Olaitan Oye-Adeitan.