The Crime Survey for England and Wales for the year ending March 2018 showed that police recorded 150,732 sexual offences, encompassing rape (53,977 cases) and sexual assault, and also sexual activity with children.
Most sexual assaults are carried out by someone known to the victim. This could be a partner, former partner, relative, friend or colleague. The assault may happen in many places, but is usually in the victim’s home or the home of the alleged perpetrator (the person carrying out the assault).
A report by the Centre for Disease Control reports that 1 in every 5 American women has been sexually molested. It is postulated that this number is high in Africa where there is little or no functional systems to track and keep records of sexual assaults. “Sexual violence or assault can happen to anyone of any age: men, women and children,” says Bernie Ryan, manager at St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester. For those who believe that sexual assaults is only for a particular gender, think twice. The degree of damage or effect may differ. But, the fact remains that both gender can be sexually abused.
One of the greatest impediments to discovering if a student has been violated sexually is the fact the violators (tutors in this case) are people whom the students (victims) have great confidence and respect for. It becomes pretty difficult for the students to open up when such happens. This is prevalent from primary school to tertiary education level.
On the other hand it may look like there is no remedy to victims of sexual assaults. But, the truth is there is a huge hope for anyone who is willing to be helped. Victims of rape or any form of sexual assaults should not be treated as deformed individuals or people with an un-cleanable spot. In this article, we shall be considering the solutions to sexual abuse, especially as it regards to tutor-student relationships under two categories, namely;
The general mantra, prevention is better than cure cannot be more accurate than in this case. The best way to cure this is to prevent it. Here are guiding preventive measures that help you prevent your wards from being sexually violated;
- Do not leave your children alone with the tutors: This is one of the most important preventive measures to securing your children from potential sexually abusive tutors. I know that parents are always busy. If need be that you must leave your children alone with tutors, kindly call time to time to check up on them.
- Make it known to the tutor: At tiptutors, we give all our tutors adequate training on sexual abuse. Tutors also sign a MOU that binds them never to attempt any effort of sexual misconduct. In cases where your children’s tutor did not belong to a professional tutoring company (not advised), ensure you make the tutor to become away of the fact that you abhor any attitude tending to such and would not take it lightly with him/her. Even when dealing with a professional tutoring company, ensure that this part is well discussed with the management before they send any tutor to your house. This helps to keep the tutors in check.
- Be a good moral example to your children: Oftentimes, children learn terrible sexual habits from their parents. A story was told of a couple who always bathe, dressed and even made love in front of their children. The biggest embarrassment of their lives came the day a lady paid them a visit and their son went straight to the lady and raised her skirt up. When the boy was reprimanded, he replied “I just wanted to see if your thing is like my mummy’s.” In one of the schools I taught in the past, a young boy was reported for pressing his classmate’s bum. When he was questioned, he simply said that there was nothing wrong with it and that after all, “my daddy touches my mum’s bum and even licks it.” In one of my classes, my student, a girl of about 14 years old was singing a song containing the F*** word. I was quick to caution her. Immediately, she told me that she doesn’t think anything was wrong with it and that the song was sent to her by her father. Children are hyper sensitive and would always want to practice whatever they learn. Avoid being naked around them, making love where and when they will see you, touching their private parts, playing song with sexually lyrics and seeing movies with erotic scenes. Be a good example.
- Same sex tutors: This does not completely obliterate the possibility of sexual molestation but, it reduces the risk of its occurrence to a modicum level. Parents are strongly advised to engage same sex tutors for their children especially when there is no third party to put an eye. Even at this, always consult your children.
- Install security cameras if you can afford it: This is so imperative and advised especially for busy parents. I once tutored children in Nigeria whose parents lived in USA. With the help of the security cameras installed in the study room, she sees everything that happens in the class. This may be expensive but if you can afford it, do not hesitate to do it.
- Education is key: Again, it is worthy to re-emphasise that prevention is the best solution to sexual assault especially rape. Educate your children sexually. Make them aware of their sexual (private) parts. Teach them ways of relating to opposite sex. For instance, some parents (especially in Africa) feel it is abominable when their children ask them questions relating to sex.
Caution: Teach them in a manner that showcases an improvement of their awareness, and not to increase their fantasies.
- Prayers: Prayer remains the surest guide to preventing your children from sexual predators. In Romans Chapter 9 verses 16, the bible says ‘’So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.’’ NKJV Also, 1 Samuel Chapter 2 verses 9b says ‘’by strength shall no man prevail.’’ NKJV The effect of parents’ prayers in securing the lives and destinies of their children cannot be overemphasised. Be a parent who spends time in the place of prayer for your children. If there is no reason why you should ever pray, your children should be the only reason.
The cure to a sexually assaulted victim is not medical and do not have specific predictions. Emotional injuries are the hardest form of injuries to heal. This is because occurrences have a way of bringing them back. A sexually assaulted individual can be very happy in one minute, and in the next minute, he / she is completely depressed. They tend to get angry easily, distrust people and get easily nauseated by the happenings around them. It is imperative to note that none of the prescriptions below or any other prescriptions should be enforced. Helpguide, California, USA outlined the following six methods of recovering from sexual trauma;
- Open up: Look for a psychological centre, rehabilitation centre or legal centre. In Nigeria, the Natiaonal Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is in charge of prosecuting all human rights offenders. Though, many complain about the difficulty in accessing their services. Major NGO’s that fight against sexual violence and rehabilitation of sexual victims can be found here
- Cope with feelings of guilt and shame: Yes! You will surely have the feeling of condemnation, less worth and all sort. Psychologists say that rape victims are susceptible to PTSD anxiety and depression. You just have to know that these feelings are prevalent and does not mean that you are becoming abnormal in anyway.
- Prepare for flashbacks and upsetting memories: The flashbacks will always come depending on the victims recovery rate.
- Reconnect your body and feelings: You just need to come to terms with yourself. Believe that you are the same person you used to be before you were violated, even if your emotions may want to disagree. Reconnect yourself as much as possible. Forbid people from having a sense of pity for you.
- Nurture yourself
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort you: This is unarguably the most potent recovery approach. This is not time to blame God. It is not time to question God’s existence, or his love for you. Your emotions may tell you that. Even people around you may tell you that. But, believe me, God is the greatest healer. The greatest restorer and the best psychologist you can ever find on earth. Joyce Mayer, the renowned American female preacher and author was violated at the age of 10 by her father. A traumatising experience for her. She tells the story of how God turned those experiences into a ministry for her. Maybe, you are the next Joyce Meyer.