“NG please now,” Mike whispered as he tried to pull his sister Ngozi to face him on the bed. “You know mummy went to bed early and may soon get up for her mid night prayers.” he continued. “Michael leave me alone.” Ngozi almost shouted. “I have told you that I am on but you don’t want to hear. If we do anything now and the bed spread gets stained how do you explain that to mummy? Have you forgotten so soon how you almost let the cat out of the bag the other time something like that happened? I don’t know why you don’t like being reasonable at times! I have told you that we need to be cautious now that daddy is not at home because mummy leaves her bedroom door open and can come out any moment.” But Mike would not take no for an answer and continued pleading and tugging on Ngozi’s see-through pink night wear.
Meanwhile Mrs. Ajo-ife suddenly woke from sleep and sat upright on her bed for no known reason. As she sat there motionless on her bed she could hear faint voices from her children’s room, which was just adjacent to hers. She became curious to know what they were talking about by that time of the night. She got up quietly and moved to her bedroom door, which was open and put her head out through the curtain to listen more carefully to the sound coming from her children’s room.
The discussion between 16 year old Mike and his 14 year old sister Ngozi continued with Mike saying, “NG Pleeeeaaase now. Can’t you understand? I can’t stand it any longer! This is 5 days running, I mean 5 whole days and we have not had fun. Do you know how I feel? I don’t have any other girl friend out there and I doubt if you have any boy friend either. Don’t you have feelings?” Ngozi whispered back, “Mike I understand but you are the one who does not understand. Please let’s be cautious. I am even tired of taking those pills everyday to avoid getting pregnant. And mum has started complaining that I am putting on weight, likewise other people who knew me before now. I am sure one of these days mummy may drag me to the hospital for medical checkup and of course you will appear innocent.”
By now Mrs. Ajo-ife had tiptoed to his children’s door and could vividly hear the discussion going on between his children. She was transfixed to the spot on hearing what the children said to each other but was too stunned to shout or make any move. She thought she was dreaming. Just then, she heard..
“Ng baby, please just help me for this night. We will talk about better ways to be cautious later. I can’t imagine spending this night without enjoying that sweetness which I can only get from your body. Please my sister, my love. I am dying of passion. For the past two years we have not stayed this length of time without having fun, and you are getting sweeter by the day.” Mummy could hear her daughter as she sighed, “Oooh! I will allow you just for this night but after today we have to think of another way of satisfying ourselves. But you have to be very gentle and I need a lot of fore play. I told you that I am on. See you, you have removed your boxers already! Naughty boy! Don’t tear my night wear unless you will explain to mummy what happened to it in the morning.”
At this juncture Mrs. Ajo-ife could not hold it any longer. She opened the door of the room and met her son on top of his sister, right in the act. She stood there clutching the door handle, looking at the two youngsters who were startled by the opening of the door had. They sat up on the bed and grabbed different ends of the bed spread for covering.
After what seemed like eternity, Mrs. Ajo-ife stammered almost voicelessly, “What the hell is going on here?” This question initially got no answer but after a while, Mike braced up and said, “I-I-I-I am sorry mum. IT IS NOT MY FAULT!” Ngozi was too broken to utter a word. She could only sob and sob. Their mum asked, “Mike did I hear you say it is not your fault? What is not your fault? And whose fault is it?” The drama continued, but let me end the episode here.
I want to ask, what would you call the relationship between Mike and his sister Ngozi? I know you will say it is in incest because that is the English and religious name of that act. But I would like to call it sex abuse in the family. I want to share with us causes of sex abuse in the family.
But before then let me tell you that stories similar to the one you read above or even worse versions of it abound in families today. A few weeks ago I posted the story of a 9 year old boy who confessed that he had been sleeping with his 7 year old sister every other night for more than one year. There was also the story of a teenage boy who impregnated his twin sister, somewhere in the Mid-Western part of Nigeria. If you give me time and space I will tell you more real life stories like these but I don’t think that it is necessary. How did we find ourselves in this mess? Come with me let me show you some of the things we do in our families, which give rise to sex abuse at home.
• Parents do not teach their children sex education early enough.
At times we forget that emotions are controlled by hormones, and as such do not know who is a blood relation or a distant acquaintance. We underestimate the force of attraction that exists between siblings, especially in their teen years when they have the greatest emotional and sexual urge. That is why, like in the case above, a parent will allow two teenagers of the opposite sex to share the same bed in the same room all alone. Imagine the teen boy waking up early in the morning with full erection, which is not out of place at that age and the first sight that greets him is the nude, succulent body of his sister sleeping carelessly with her silky night gown raised up to her chest. And he sees this almost every day. If anything goes wrong, I must tell you that IT IS NOT HIS FAULT. We allow our children to be too close with each other without caution. There are cases where parents allow siblings to dress or undress before each other all in the name that they are brother and sister. What an error!
• Some parents unconsciously promote sex abuse by their own actions. For instance, daddy sits wearing a very short boxers or walks bare-chested in the house with his young daughters around him. Mummy on the other hand ties wrapper above her chest and sits carelessly, sometimes letting the wrapper fall off without showing any sign of concern. As if that is not enough, she puts on her clothes half way and asks her son to help her hook her bra or zip up her blouse. While nothing may go wrong between you and the child, you arouse the child’s emotions and leave him or her burning with passion and erotic imaginations. That is abuse of the mind and emotion of the child. And when such feelings build up to an uncontrollable level it finds expression through any available channel.
• In the name of modern lifestyle we use indecent dressing to destroy our children. Predators are not only outside, many of them are inside the house with us. We don’t care what our children, especially our daughters wear at home. Some of them move around the house half naked in the presence of their “hot-blooded” brothers and probably other extended family members. Remember I said that emotions and arousals are controlled by hormones and often do not know who is a brother or sister.
• How about mouth kissing? I don’t know what to say to parents who kiss their children on the lips. You are destroying that child. You are teaching that child that whoever says he loves you can kiss you to express his love. And of course they have come to believe that nothing can go wrong just by kissing, after all nothing went wrong when you kissed them.
• We encourage sex abuse through the type of films we watch in our homes. We are meant to be good examples. Therefore we cannot say that the kids should not watch those X-rated films when we ourselves watch them. If they don’t watch it when we are there they will try to see what is in it when we are away.
• We give children unlimited and uncontrolled access to the internet. And after watching only God-knows-what into the middle of the night after you have gone to bed they retire into the privacy of their room to sleep alone with their siblings.
• We are careless with the kind of friends our children keep. Do you know that some of the boys who come “to look for your son” are actually there because of your daughter? The same thing applies to your daughter’s visitors. Some of them use your daughter as an excuse to have access to your son. Your children know this and plan out their way very well to protect each other’s interest – right under your nose.
• Time and space shall fail me to talk about the numerous ills we bring upon ourselves when we abdicate our duties as women to house helps and other domestic servants. I have seen cases where mothers allow house boys to bath their baby girls or nannies to bath their sons without supervision. Do you know how many children have been abused through that means? And once they start they may never stop. Dear mum, even your husband who is the father of your daughter should not bath your four year old daughter for you. You may say I am an extremist but I know what I am talking about. Some time ago a friend told me that a mother came to her crying because her four year old daughter told her that the “father” molested her while bathing her the other day the mum went to the market.
• We allow careless, stupid and erotic playing among our children. Some parents don’t see the need to rebuke their children if they catch them touching each other in unseemly ways. They assume that they are just kids and will stop it as they grow older.
• There is also the case of parents who do not know the difference between bedroom talks, deeds or actions and talks that are meant for the public. They engage in romantic displays at the full glare of their children. Some of them will tell you that they want the children to know that they love each other or that they are teaching their children how to love their spouse when they grow up and get married. Please spare your children, especially the teenagers the embarrassment caused by your open romantic episodes.
I still have a lot to say about this issue but I am compelled by consideration for the time of my readers to stop here. The message I want to pass across is that we need to open our eyes because there are terrible cases of sex abuse in the family these days. It is happening between parents and their children, among siblings, domestic servants are equally not left out. Just this evening I read the story of a mother who said that she was proud to tell the whole world that she was a lesbian and her 18 year old daughter was her lover. According to her they were just happy to have each other! That is the world we are in today.
Please try to find out what happens in the bathroom when your two daughters or sons enter the bathroom and spend more time than necessary there. Be more concerned when you have extended relatives or holiday makers in your home. If possible, please do not allow your sons and daughters to sleep alone in the same bedroom; separate them. But where that is not possible due to economic reasons or any other factor be extra vigilant and don’t stop talking to them about the dangers of unholy union.
Ijeoma I. Igwesi
Family Life Coach and Teens Counselor.