Flora is still trying to believe what her little angel has told her about ‘Uncle Bolaji.’ Coming to terms that your child has been abused is one of the most difficult things ever.

Tempers and hell will be let loose and it is totally understandable but here are things you should not miss out on;

Take the abused child to a hospital. It is recommended that the child is examined by a specially trained sexual assault nurse at the hospital. If you went to the hospital before contacting the police, medical staff will likely report the incident as mandated by law.  Ensure that the child is screened for all infections and administered PEP (postexposure prophylaxis)  to prevent deadly infections like HIV.

Report to the police and ensure to go with the child so as to get all necessary evidence needed to press charges. Endeavour to report the issue to a Child’s Right Organisation too and make sure the child is safe. If a child discloses abuse, he or she should receive counselling and support for the short and long term, ensuring the child can recover both physically and emotionally from this devastating childhood trauma. There is no reason to avoid calling the police, even if the child does not want to press charges.

The police will conduct an investigation to determine if charges will be brought, but there is no good reason to keep suspected abuse to yourself. When confronted, many abusers may say it only happened once or will never happen again, but statistics have proven this to be mostly untrue.

An abused child needs to be loved and supported, no matter what he or she says about the abuse or the abuser, as there may be a myriad of emotional issues to face down the road, including healthy relationships and sexual enjoyment.

Parents of abused children may need to attend support groups or counselling to deal with their own emotional reactions and to discover ways to provide the help their child will need. Seek the help of your family doctor, paediatrician, local church or therapist to guide you and your family to positive healing and the ability to move forward.

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