Why Do I Feel Nobody Is Talking About Child Sexual Abuse In Ghana?

3 min


crying baby

 

I’ve noticed that sexual abuse amongst children in Ghana is very prevalent, yet what is saddening about this issue is that little or no attention is given to it. This unfortunate situation is not new, since I have a lot of friends who went through. It is just one of the many issues that have been swept under the rug, for what reason I cannot understand.

Whilst chatting with one of my male friends, I discovered that his first sexual encounter was at the age 7, with the house help. I was even more surprised that he did not consider it as a form of abuse. He told me that it was not uncommon amongst his circle of friends to have been taught sexual practices at very tender ages by either relatives or house helps. I spoke to a few other people to ascertain the truth and this is what they had to say:

“I remember when I was about 8 years old; the house help would put her hand in my private part anytime we were alone. She warned me not to tell anybody”

“I was molested by a close relative who I used to call Uncle when I was a child. He made me do certain things I don’t want to talk about now”.

“I was molested by an older cousin who was staying with us. And he warned me never to tell anyone”

From what I discovered, child sexual abuse could take many forms. It was also not limited to any gender. Both young girls and boys suffered various forms of abuse from adults who were supposed to care and protect them.

Upon further probing, I found out that most of these victims were scared to open up to their parents about the experiences. They believed that either their parents were not going to believe them, or they would end up receiving beatings rather. This fact is not surprising because in the Ghanaian society children are always taken for granted because we believe that children do not know much. It is also glaringly obvious that most parents did not have an open relationship with their children.

At the end of the day, most of these children had to keep it to themselves and this have had a lot of effects on their on their sexual and emotional lives. Can you imagine a guy friend telling me, he had always thought that the only purpose of having a woman was to have sex with her? This is because right from childhood he had been experimenting with sex so he did not have any value for it.

Sexual abuse can also steal the confidence and self-esteem from a child. I believe that childhood is a magical and precious period for any person, and it is during this period that certain characters are built. No one deserves to have their childhood stolen from them.

Now most of us are young adults and will become parents ourselves if not already. It is important to be as open as possible with your children. Encourage them to recount their daily activities to you. Teach them a little bit of sex education—it won’t kill or spoil them. Alert them that under no circumstance should any adult aside you request to see their private parts and incase it happens they should immediately report to you. As a parent, you should do your homework very well and be careful as to the kind of people you entrust your children with.

Have you ever been abused? Do you know anyone who has been abused? How has that experience affected you? Kindly share your experiences so that we can raise more awareness about Child sexual abuse.



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15 Comments

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  1. I was molested but nobody talks about it at all. & there is little help for victims. No access to psychologists. Everyone tells you to pray & give it to God. & if you decide to take it to court you suffer through so much. I work with an NGO that assists victims of defilement & I’ll tell you that most of them can’t afford the GHC50 or more it costs to get a doctor to examine them so they can make a police report not to talk of all the bribery etc. & almost all my friends were sexually abused. I find it interesting that people would talk about what mature adults do in private which doesnt concern them (homosexuality) but we don’t care about how kids are being abused. 

  2. Molestation has always been part of my life. From as far back as I can remember in my childhood through to now older boys and men have molested me or tried one way or another but I was never able to tell because then I wasn’t even sure whether I was being molested or I was somehow seducing these people. I didn’t want to seem like a bad child either and get beaten so I formed a system of how to escape from these situations and it worked till I was 17 where I was first raped. I even ended up in a relationship where I was constantly raped and beaten but still stayed because it became ‘normal’ and my boyfriend after that left me because a friend I trusted raped me. I don’t talk about these things much because when I tell my story people say its my fault. When I first told my mum my story, she called me cheap and easy and told me how disappointed she was in me. When we argue she always makes snide comments about how sex is all Im good for. What can I do? I just accept it. I just accept rape as ‘one of those things’ though I am open about the topic. Im so open about it that some even suggest Im into rape and I like the idea of it. But what can I do? If I don’t deal with it the pain of being constantly used sexually and never loved will kill me.

    1. @Abigail, woooooow I salute you for sharing your story forget what people think I salute you once again for sharing you r story it’s not easy at all

    2. @Abigail,pls it’s not your fault @ll i think u can take this topic to Gifty Anti so it can be discussed on standpoint so that it can help other victims. take easy my darling. all victims of abuse need counselling and some form of therapy to move on. Godbless

  3. children in general are always seen and not heard especially in Ghana. we always believe that kids tell lies . we need a platform to discuss a lot of social problems including physical abuse and all forms of abuse.the government has to set up a body with specialist and trained staff to help victims

    1. @Sasha, very true….I was just about to say the same that the adult is always right back home….that leaves the child not to be heard….thank God mine did not get far as in sexual intercourse….but I’ve never ever seemed to forget even though it’s long tiiiiime ago….I keep blaming myself to the extend that my whole childhood is been wiped out….I have neglected it….regardless of the situation, an adult is an adult and have more experience than a kid….unfortunately nobody seems to care….they misuse their status to get away with everything….I was arguing with one guy when he disagreed with me that there’s no such thing as paediohiles in Ghana but its mostly in the western world…..it’s a shame we don’t take a lot into consideration…..

  4. Abigail, it is NOT your fault!! Its quite unfortunate we live in a society where such topic is frown upon when it is happening daily. I am sooo sorry this has to happen to you and you had to grow up with it but my dear, DO NOT accept it just like that. You are precious and loved to let it define who you are. Be Strong. Be Loved and Be Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your message with us and I pray to God someday, just someday we will all put some light into this big issue in our country.

    P.S..My brother and I were both sexually abused by close relative, but I refuse to let that define my purpose. <3<3

  5. Looking back 28years and how my gran denies it happened even though I remember her grinding ‘akakadro’ to put in my feminine parts the night she heard from a neighbor that a the man she had been leaving to supervise me while she was at bible study was raping me. I was 7 years old but never did she ask me or take it to the law. If I ever see the man who raped me, I will definatly need to be held back.

  6. Susie, Abigail and Yaa, May you ladies find comfort in God Almighty. May he strengthen and restore all that you’ve lost. I can just imagine the humiliation, the shame, the struggle, the pain, the fear and the suffering you ladies had to go through. The rape phenomenon is an epidemic in Ghana now. if care is not taken it will engulf the entire nation, and at that time it will be too late for the government or even the clergy to do anything about it. How many times have we heard father’s raping their own biological daughters? Countless of times. So just imagine the sicko’s out there who are not related to those little kids they encounter everyday. It is high time parents stop blaming their kids when such things happen and rather encourage them to speak out. So many girls are living in fear because they don’t want to speak out and rather get blamed for it. in some cases they’ll be beating up for letting it happen. Hmmmm… Needless to say, I was also raped by two older women when I was 5 years old but in my case I’m a boy so it’s not as bad as a girl. By the way, those women that raped me got the beating of  their lives. 

  7. Wow..it seems everyone has a story to share.I was also s**aully harassed by the sister’s husband at age 14,he touched my boobs and barged in on me in the bathroom just to watch me naked.Thankfully,he never had the chance to rape me.I was never able to tell my sis,infact this is the very first time i’m talking abt it after 9 years.

  8. As a student doing some research on abuse,guess i can tell my story too.
    we have many different kinds of abuse, the main 7 types are:
    physical,sexual,psychological,emotional,discriminatory,institutional and neglect.
    in back home i can say physicalcsedual,psychological and neglect are common but our government dont look into it.

    when i was young in my early teens,i left my grandmoms to live with my mom and stepdad.first year things were fine but as days were passing by,one day my stepdad called me over,touchig my boobs and told me he was checking if am turning into a woman(didnt know anything about bn a woman or signa of it)he actually warned me not to tell my mom,but eventually i did but unfortunately all my mom could say was that my step dad has a right to touch my body if he sees any changes.
    i was confused but this is my own mother allowing things happening under her own rough.( she used to tell me am amount of nothing,am useless,am for no use etc)
    the man continued and got worse.i was rape by him,i told mom but she rather turned around telling me am lying against her husband.i didn’t know who to tell.so had to get a boyfriend I could confide in,I told the guy,he didn’t even know what to do either,I planned to run away but I didn’t succeed so I ended staying with them again,
    This man raped me,turn my mom against me and my mother’s family so no one was ready to listen to me,. I lost hope,never wanted to trust people around me,low self esteem,lost confidence,I was emotionally disturbed.
    Had the chance to tell my dad,my dad cried and couldn’t believe what has happened to his only daughter,he handled it case in a mature way by calling my mother to talk about it,the only answer my mom gave to him was “YOUR SO CALLED DAUGHTER IS NOT THE ONLY PERSON TO BE RAPED” that broke my dad’s heart and after a month my dad passed away.
    He believed I wouldn’t lie about such things,I had evidence but it was left for me to fight for my own right.abd am still fighting to have my life back by having confidence and self esteem,I can’t get close to men because I get scared of them,because the trauma my stepdad put me through,when I had a boyfriend,I scream and cry when making love.
    Sometimes I wonder why children are Bn abused for nothing and that rules our entire life.
    I feel guilty that by what I told my dad killed him.
    I still want to find out why he did that to me!
    Am hoping to be a voice for other children in Ghana,we don’t deserve this treatment.

    1. @Eno, you story mirrors a Liberia nurse that I know here in the states, her dad also died like that after hearing about what she had to endure during the liberia confict at the hands of a uncle. what i have learned and hope otheres in our situation is that when channeled right we can turn our lives around and commit ourselves to protecting others and bring awareness. cuz for a fact if we wait for the govt to do something it will be a shame. rarely does change come about from officials, it has to be the people that doe something to stop a worrying trend. Id like to assist you in your research, not sure how i can but i applaud the research you are embarking on.

      What resources are you using(verbal accounts, statistics…)?

    2. @Eno, you story mirrors a Liberia nurse that I know here in the states, her dad also died like that after hearing about what she had to endure during the liberia confict at the hands of a uncle. what i have learned and hope otheres in our situation is that when channeled right we can turn our lives around and commit ourselves to protecting others and bring awareness. cuz for a fact if we wait for the govt to do something it will be a shame. rarely does change come about from officials, it has to be the people that doe something to stop a worrying trend. Id like to assist you in your research, not sure how i can but i applaud the research you are embarking on.

      What resources are you using(verbal accounts, statistics…)? http://www.facebook.com/yaakesiwaa