I once read a book in high school involving a sequence of events that highlighted a certain detective’s fight against sexual offenders interested in the participation of child as sexual objects physically while they filmed the act and distributed it to the black market. At one time, the detective watched a video where this poor little girl was cajoled into entering the pool or hot tub with this man, where he did things to her, and subsequently ended her life – while still in the water with him. That is how I recalled that book. And I pitied the detective. I felt so sorry that he had to see that and he was unshaken. I felt sorry for him that he’d spent years of his career seeing things like that as a pice of his soul chipped away when he saw young, innocent 6 years old being used, abused and murdered for some pervert’s pleasure and entertainment.
The possession of and distribution of child pornography is a criminal offense, so says the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
The child is groomed, in some instances to deliberately befriend and establishing an emotional connection with the child, to lowering their inhibitions, preparing them for the sexual activity to come. Exploiting their innocence. Damaging them, maybe irrevocably.
In Nigeria, it is the common belief that the sexual exploitation of a child, or at least a minor is often done in the hands of someone the child knows well, or at least, someone with access to the child without the reservations of the family. What’s worse, it is sometimes seen as the norm.
When I was a little girl, my best friend Anna and I knew this man who would always try to grab us and take us inside as a way of playing with us. He never caught me, but Anna did mention that the one time he drag her to his room, he tried to touch where she usually used to go to the bathroom to pee. We never thought anything of it; we even thought he was a bit strange, playing with little girls almost twenty years older than he was. Now that I think about it, if I were Anna’s mom, that guy would be missing the part of his body his kids would come out from.
In a country where some cultures have no problem with marrying still developing young girls, its not hard to find things like this happening. I am just thankful that we were somewhat protected (believe it or not) and weren’t exposed to worse violations.
The fact was, we didn’t know any better. And I am glad that more twisted things didn’t happen. But every day, one hears news about some poor girl being molested and abused by her father, or uncle or cousin and nothing being done about it. In Nigeria, I’m sure if women compared notes about growing up and the role of sex was assessed, we’d be really shocked about the similarities we had and forgot about.
Sometimes…playing isn’t just playing. Man has a dark side to them. And I hope our children never get to see the extent of which the darkness can reach. If they do, what innocence would we find, then.