Be Careful, Your Child Could Be Molested at Home- Experts

The behaviour and security experts warn that children could be molested by relatives, peers and friends in this holiday

It is so far one and a half weeks ever since the official three weeks second term holiday began even though some schools had closed a week or two earlier. As children are now in their parents’ homes, behaviour and security experts have urged parents to be very keen in order to protect their children from being molested.

Moses Ntega an expert in child rights and behaviour, Agnes Igoye a dedicated fighter of child trafficking and abuse as well Fred Enanga the police spokesperson, say holidays have often left many children molested by family friends, relatives and their peers.

Ntega says one of the signs a parent must be concerned with is isolation and loss of self-esteem of children. Ntega explains that some children once they have been abused in any way or the other tend to withdraw from others and prefer spending longer hours hidden in their bedrooms.

The incidents that make children lose the self-confidence, according to Ntega, might have happened when they were in school or when they have been left at home with relatives or family friends.

“Children enter their bedrooms and lock themselves there for hours and parents do not bother. Be concerned on what are the things the schools are doing in their bedrooms. There are incidences where children have learnt bad manners in school. The school administration gets to know such things but decide to hide them for fear of branding their schools in a bad way,” Ntega says.

Igoye warns that some children have fallen victim to trafficking and sexual abuse because relatives convinced their parents to let the youngsters stay with them. Igoye adds that the biggest number of victims of domestic aggravated trafficking are children and in most cases they are picked from their parents by relatives and friends.

“The children are the most victims of local trafficking. Children are used to commit crime. They are the most affected domestically. But we need to remind people that once you are arrested, you will face the law,” Igoye says.

Enanga says in most cases parents tend to dismissed outcries of children especially when they are involving relatives or close family friends. Enanga adds that children often times go to their parents complaining about relatives but the responses they receive is always negative. This makes children resort to silence even when what they are experiencing is extreme.

“School holiday is a time when you need to be extra cautious in protecting children. Discuss boundaries with your children. During holidays you may have relatives who would want children to sit on their laps, hug them but encourage them to say no,” Enanga says.

Ntega says holidays should help parents engage children in friendly conversations that could help to understand the troubles they are facing in dormitories. According to Ntega, there is need to restrict children from over usage of gadgets like phones and promote socialization in a home like chatting with siblings as you are observe what is the reaction towards each other.

Enanga says parents should time and again emphasize the point of children being courageous to say no to wrong touches. Children, according to Enanga, should be encouraged not to keep secrets because they are the source of abuse and a tool used by culprits.

Restricting children from playing with relatives, family friends and peers in your absence is also vital in protecting children according to Enanga, Ntega and Igoye. Sparing time to have a conversation with a child about schools could also help parents to know what is challenging them.

On average, police registers over 300 cases of children defiled, molested and abused by their relatives including their parents and guardians. More than 640000 girls were defiled and impregnated during the Covid19 lockdowns but some were victimized by close relatives.