Who are Child Abusers and paedophiles? How do they find their way into the lives of our children? Let’s take you through a touching life-wrenching story of Ibinabo.
By Blessing Iwowari
PUBLISHED: August 14, 2023
Ibinabo an only child of her parents was excited when her mom mentioned the possibility of finding her a lesson tutor who would homeschool her because her grades were lacking, especially in her core subjects. She had just transferred from primary to secondary school at the age of 10, so she was still getting used to the big amount of topics she would have to study for. She struggled to manage more subjects than she was accustomed to, which had an impact on her academic performance. Her JSS1 score from her first term was appalling. This necessitated the lookout for a homeschool tutor by her mum. She was so excited and couldn't wait to begin her homeschooling the following week. On the scheduled day, Mr. Tom failed to show up–citing a medical issue as an excuse.
A week turned into weeks then a month. Ibinabo and Mom had already forgotten about him and started making arrangements to get another tutor when he called one morning apologizing and was ready to take up the job of homeschooling Ibinabo. At the time he came to take up the job it was exactly 2weeks to examinations, so to make sure she gets her money's worth, she asked Mr Tom to start up immediately without any form of interrogation or background checks on him. He will be coming four times a week from 3:30-6:30 pm including Saturdays from 12 noon-3 pm so he could do as much as he could before the examinations started.
Mr. Tom who is in his mid-thirties was a very handsome guy, characterized by a kind and pleasant demeanor, he belonged to the beard gang and had a sense of style. A first glance at him, you will know he is classy and very smart, one will wonder why someone with this description will take up the job of a lesson tutor, queried Ibinabo’s mum jokingly. Omo! Madam, It's packaging oh! Tinubu's government will get you to hustle to make ends meet. With the way the economy is going, I have to find a side hustle that will keep me afloat while the government is coming up with actionable steps to help alleviate the suffering of the masses. These were the kinds of conversations that came up intermittently from Ibinabo’s mum and Mr. Tom during homeschooling sessions with Ibinabo.
Mr. Tom was very hard-working and thorough in his job, he made sure he took his time to teach Ibinabo and gave her assignments which she did and they always revised it together. The time for the examination came and Ibinabo did very well mostly in her core subjects. Wow, this was exciting news for Ibinabo's mum. She called her husband and informed him of his daughter's drastic improvement. She was very happy for her daughter and congratulated Mr. Tom for a job well done. This confirmed what her family friend that referred Mr. Tom said. She told her he was a good homeschool tutor who was brilliant at his job and in no time she will start seeing drastic improvements in her daughter. The congratulations turned into a salary raise for Mr. Tom and more tutoring during the holidays. She insisted he comes from Tuesdays through to Saturdays leaving out Sundays and Mondays to rest and do other things as it was a long holiday. He in turn promised to make Ibinabo an "A" student as well as make Ibinabo’s mum proud to have him tutor her child or so we thought.
Homeschooling continued until one fateful day, please note that as far as the private lessons were concerned, he had done an excellent job with Ibinabo since the holidays. So at this point, he has gained the trust of her parents. Ibinabo's dad is a computer engineer who worked offshore and was barely around, while her mum was an auditor with a private firm.
Now that I have established how busy the parents were, let's continue with the fateful day Mr. Tom came to the house. Since it was a holiday, the time was scheduled a bit early from 11 am to 3 pm. At this time, Ibinabo's mum is at work and Ibinabo is home alone. It's been like that since the holidays, so he was aware and was biding his time until he will strike. On a particular day, Ibinabo had not finished the assignment she was given so he didn't hesitate to lash out at her. Ibinabo who genuinely felt sorry for her actions started apologizing, the next thing he said was, "come and sit on my lap and apologize to me well," innocently she did and that was when he started touching her nipples and tried to kiss her. She pulled back but he held her tight begging her not to let go and feeling her head with all kinds of rubbish.
This was the beginning of her travails with her lesson tutor. As soon as he gets to the house he holds her tight, starts rubbing his lips on her budding boobs, and traces his fingers all over her body through to her pants. Ibinabo found this as her new reality, she was too scared to tell him to stop or even report to her mum. Learning had stopped because all he did was experiment with her body. As the day went by, he kept getting more adventurous with her, from sticking his finger right inside of her severally to struggling to put his manhood in her veejay and just laying there with her on him.
Filling her head with sweet nothings was his way of getting her subdued so he could have his way with her as often as he wanted. This particular day Ibinabo’s mum was home because she called in sick at the office, the lesson tutor came to the house and as soon as he stepped in, Ibinabo quickly told him his mum was around. He pretended to teach her for a while then proceeded in carrying out his devilish acts. Ibinabo wasn't having it any longer, she did not know what came over her that day as she screamed at the top of her voice breaking free from him. She ran as fast as she could to meet her mum who was bathing. Before her mum could wear some clothes to come to see Mr. Tom in the sitting room, he had disappeared without a trace. All plans to get him arrested proved abortive. Ibinabo’s mum had little or no information about him to help with the police investigation, so it was difficult for the police to track him down, he just disappeared into thin air and could not be found.
It's very important to understand the reason why adults in particular sexually abuse children. These motives, when discovered, could help in preventing recurrence and protect our children from paedophiles and child abusers. Of course, adults who sexually abuse children are deeply confused people who don't know what they really need in the realm of sexual experience, as well as extremely destructive in their attempts to meet such “needs.” Irrespective of their past experiences like being molested as children or having other psychological difficulties, it is not enough to see a vulnerable young child that looks up to you in a sexual way. Whatever the reason could be, it is not justifiable at all but twisted. When an adult desires to sexually abuse or take advantage of a child, certain factors come to play. Please note that these factors do not excuse their wicked acts in any way.
Their Delusions: Child abusers find it easy to act on their deluded thoughts, once they are convinced that they are doing the right thing. From research, paedophiles say they find the children attractive because of their playfulness, smooth skin without body hairs in different parts of their body, their voice and physical features. Their convictions could be telling themselves that they are more important than the children they are molesting, whatever it is they are doing to the child is not harmful but fun, the child consented to the act, they deserve to abuse that child, and part of being a man is to be strong and sexually dominant.
Life Experiences: Their life experiences which are a culmination of their beliefs, desires, and psychological difficulties are influenced by past experiences they have had. Some child abusers have a history of substance abuse which affects the way they see themselves. Some other psychological difficulties, for example growing up in a home of domestic violence, may make it difficult to manage intense emotions, feel it's okay to be controlling and feel powerful, and be okay with hurting or desecrating someone for pleasure.
Outside Influences: Some messages these child abusers or paedophiles hear or see in society also play a big part in shaping how abusive they can be and can provide ready excuses to arm themselves with. Our culture most times portrays people, especially women, and girls, as sex objects, our young children especially girls are trafficked for sex. Up until now society still often treats victims of abuse with doubt, which makes abusers feel more confident and believe that they will get away with anything. So, in a nutshell, I believe our society is angered by abuse, but a lot of its messages promote and encourage it.
Opportunities: Generally speaking, whether someone wants to abuse a child or not will depend largely on a one-on-one or day-to-day opportunity with the child. For example, many potential child abusers won’t try to abuse if they can’t find a way to be alone with that child or if they think they will get caught in the act. Let's examine the story of Ibinabo above, you will notice the child abuser came into their home disguised as a homeschool tutor. He was very friendly and carried out his duties effectively as a tutor so he could gain the love and confidence of Ibinabo and her parents, eliminating any suspicion before he started carrying out his wicked acts on the vulnerable young child.
A child abuser is a person who engages in sexual abuse or exploitation of a child. Has committed the crime of molesting minors under the age of consent and can be regarded as a sex offender. (This is sickening🤮!)
While a Paedophile is a person who is sexually attracted to Pre-pubescents (children that have not reached puberty) who are between the ages of 6-10 years or at the beginning of puberty. It is a type of sexual perversion by adults who have intense physical attraction, sexual fantasies and relations with children. They may or may not act on their actions but cannot help their desires. (Crazy people everywhere😱)
Whether the adult is a child abuser or a paedophile, none of them are normal and it is disgusting to even think about it. They should steer clear of our children. Children should never be sexualized or abused, it is an error and unacceptable. I believe that a vast majority of us Nigerians find it repugnant and very sickening for an adult to be sexually attracted to minors or abuse them. It is even worse when it happens right under our noses without us knowing. A lot of love and care should be given to our minors. God has given them to us to nurture and protect, not to leave them at the mercy of these sick sexual offenders or be careless about their safety. Parents should ensure effective communication with their kids so our young children can be informed;
Anyone could be a potential abuser irrespective of age and social class in your neighborhood and society at large so pay close attention. It is understandable that our kids will not always be with us for good reasons though, and we cannot fully prevent this things, but its imperative as parents to talk to them about sex education and make them well aware, this will prevent it to a great extent.
A lot of children are abused and they don't even know the implications of what is being done to them. A child should be made to understand that certain parts of the body should not be touched by anyone including those they know except their parents, if touched it should be immediately reported. Let them understand if they are touched or poked in places not right or they are not comfortable with, they should move away immediately and report. Get the information broken down to their level of consumption so they really understand.
Always pay close attention to your children, Don't be too busy for them. Build a solid relationship with them so they can trust you with the tiniest details. Let them know that keeping body secrets is not okay. This is a way child abusers get to abuse children and make them keep their secrets. Dedicate time to truly know what their needs are so you will not leave room for strangers to enter their lives. Educate them frequently, let it not be a one-time thing.
In this era of technology, make sure you put things in place in your home before bringing in a tutor to homeschool your young child/children. Fixing hidden cameras in your home, especially in the sitting room or anywhere else the homeschooling will be taking place is a welcome plan.
Do not just bring in anybody to homeschool your kids without doing a thorough background check on that individual. Don't just run with information from a referral or family friend, please take the time out to painstakingly investigate that individual before letting them into your home. Get them to sign forms alongside their shorties in the presence of the police, just in case anything goes wrong.
Whether we like it or not these sick fucks are everywhere looking for innocent children to prey on. It is not enough to educate your kids on the necessary precautions to take and arm them with the right information, personally be invested in the process of monitoring and watching out for your children and the child abusers amongst you. Research shows that 90% of young children abused are by people they are familiar with. So be careful who you entrust your kids to, whether a neighbor, homeschool tutor, a family friend, nanny, uncle, aunt, or pastor. It is better to be overprotective of your children than to be guilty of carelessness and gross neglect. Don't be like Ibinabo’s mum who entrusted her only child to a total stranger based on a flimsy recommendation from a family friend, his good looks, and excellent academic skills. It will take the grace of God and therapy sessions to get Ibinabo to be normal again, from sleep disturbances caused by nightmares or not being able to concentrate on her studies, to vaginal/anal infections. Getting close to people will be difficult not to talk about having trust issues. As parents, we can do better by not only praying for them but making sure we are proactive in the steps we take to protect our young children from child abusers and paedophiles. God help parents!