Mrs Regina Omo-Agege, Executive Director, Women Education, Advocacy and Development Initiative, a non-profit organisation, has called on parents to spend more quality time with their children.
She said this at an awareness campaign on “Ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV)” organised for students of the Junior Secondary School, Jabi 1, Abuja on Wednesday.
She said that the campaign was to commemorate the United Nations 16 days activism against sexual and gender-based violence which started on Nov. 25 and ends on Dec. 10.
Omo-Agege who was represented by Mrs Okiemute Olori, Director, Communication and ICT of the group, said that it was important for parents to have a close relationship with their children and stop the blame game when they are molested.
“Do not blame the victim when they are molested, because parents are fond of asking questions such as, what were you wearing, what were you doing there, how did you behave?
“First of all, a molested child goes through a traumatic experience, so let parents take their children as a priority; listen to them and solve their problems and look for the way forward.
“If you keep on blaming a molested child for being molested, you would only be contributing to an already negative impacted self-image of such child which would build a low self-esteem and confidence which will affect them in life.
“Loving a child needs time, not just quantity time but quality time, learn to listen and communicate with them, when they make mistakes, correct and nurture them in love,” she said.
She also called on the children to always report anyone who attempted to molest them in any form to their parents, school counselor and to trusted adult.
“We also want the students to know that there are different types of abuses and gender-based violence, such as mental, emotional, psychological and other forms of violence.
“We are encouraging them to break the silence, there are many young people that are being molested and people take advantage of their situations because they are young.
“So these children keep quiet and their self-confidence and esteem is being eroded and that is why we are here to let them know that there are organisations that will stand and support them.
“We have zero tolerance for any form of abuse, either on boys or girls” she said.
Mr Sikiru Adeola-Akeem, the principal of the school, expressed appreciation to the group for carrying out the awareness campaign in the school.
He added that the school had also put measures in place for students to report cases of abuse and violence as its counseling unit and gender club had been trained to handle such issues with utmost confidentiality.
Miss Marvel Effiong, Head-Girl of the school, thanked the group for the talk, adding that they learnt different forms of assaults and appropriate authorities they could report to when molested.(NAN)