Photograph — AMISOM

“…six out of every 10 Nigerian children under the age of 18 years experience some form of physical, emotional, and sexual violence before the age of 18 years.” – Jose Foundation.

Cases of sexual violence against children in Nigeria have disturbingly become a regular fixture in the news. One prominent case being the rape of a six-month old baby in Kano State. Owing to such unsavoury occurrences, individuals and both governmental and non-governmental organisations have expressed increased concern over the spate of incidences of sexual abuse and violence against children all over the country.

The results of research carried out by the National Population Commission, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention prompted the quote made above by the Jose Foundation over the issue. Findings further show that one in four girls and one in ten boys suffer from sexual violence, while one in five boys and one in six girls suffer from emotional violence.

Unfortunately, there are still not enough adequate measures put in place to rehabilitate and support these victims.  

Jose Foundation is presently teaming up with the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to tackle the problem. In August, the group will be spearheading a workshop aimed at procuring and suggesting measures in awareness and security to discourage the incidences of sexual violence and abuse against  children.

There have been numerous reports of children and infants suffering from these dastardly acts, as well as calls from governmental and non-governmental bodies to put a stop to the crimes committed this year alone. Here’s a look at nine of such shocking cases thus far.

February 2017 – 20-year-old cobbler sexually assaults five-year-old in Lagos.

Kingsley Philip pleaded “not guilty” to the charge of ‘fingering’ his neighbours’ five-year-old daughter, in his apartment in Idimu, Lagos State. Vaginal discharges from the child alerted her mother to the sexual assault, to which she confirmed that their neighbour inserted his fingers into her private parts.

March 2017 – 55-year-old man rapes seven-months-old stepchild in Katsina.

Magaji Dansale allegedly drugged his new wife in order to be able to carry out the act while she slept at their apartment in Musawa, Katsina State. The mother awoke to blood stains around her baby’s private parts. Dansale tried to convince her pile was the culprit, but a visit to the hospital proved otherwise, making him the prime suspect in the baby’s rape.

March 2017 – 45-year-old raped three-year-old stepdaughter in Niger.

This man allegedly turned to his three-year-old stepdaughter to satisfy his sexual urges after his wife would not have sex with him and shut him out of their room. Despite the presence of blood and semen on the baby, the victim denied the accusations and claimed he was protecting her from domestic violence.

March 2017 – Man rapes six-month-old baby in Kano.

A Kano locale, yet to be identified because of his reported affluent social status, raped six-month-old Khadija Bashir in Kano State. The man was aided by his wife – a friend of the victim’s family – who helped to hold Khadija down. According to reports, the

May 2017 – Three men gang-rape a one-year-old in Katsina.

Three unknown men snatched Suwaiba Ahmadu’s infant from her back and fled into the bushes to rape her until she fell into a coma. This vile act was committed in the Danju Local Government in Katsina State.

May 2017 – 14-year-old rapes seven-year-old in Lagos.

This teenager broke into the toilet where the girl was relieving herself and proceeded to rape her there. The child’s screams alerted her mother. The accused however denies the crime which took place in Bariga, Lagos State.

June 2017 – 20-year-old rapes deaf girl in Ogun.

Nurudeen Akintoye narrowly escaped a lynching when he was recently arrested for raping a deaf and dumb girl, in a bush in Obafemi-owode, Ogun State. The girl, who was hitherto a virgin, was seen bleeding from around her vaginal area which reportedly prompted the attempted lynching.

June 2017 – Man rapes 13-year-old girl and infects her with HIV in Cross River.

Edet James Asuquo has been charged to court for the rape of a 13-year-old girl, in what is being described as a quest to fulfil a personal vendetta on Asuquo’s part to spread the deadly virus as far as possible.

June 2017 – 16-year-old rapes infant in Ebonyi.

The accused was found bathing the baby in a desperate attempt to cover up his defilement of her. According to accounts, the  one year and four months old baby was raped more than once, and had to be placed in intensive care in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

These are only some of the known cases of shocking acts of sexual abuse against children in Nigeria. Eerily enough, there are many more others that go unnoticed, also [primarily] against women, boys, and men.

Due to the astonishing rate of sexual violence incidences, the Senate passed the motion “Urgent need to investigate the alarming rate of rape and sexual assault against women, children, and vulnerable people across the country” in May.

Three crucial aspects highlighted by the motion are the fact that these crimes are usually committed by familiar faces to the victims, a high percentage of them involve individuals under the age of consent, and most of the cases go unresolved. The motion was introduced by Deputy Majority Leader from Kebbi South, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

Children’s Day was also another avenue used to create awareness for the harrowing crime against children throughout the country and advocate for its elimination.

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