Lagos - Three human rights groups on Friday in Lagos raised the alarm over the increasing rate in child sexual abuse in the country and called for collaborative efforts to curb the menace.
The groups told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that sexual abuse of minors should be a cause for concern to us all.
Ifeyinwa Awagu, Secretary, Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH), described child sexual abuse as a form of child abuse in which an adult used a child for sexual stimulation.
Awagu said that the law did not provide adequate time to prosecute offenders.
She said that lack of forensic evidence, inability of parents to allow their wards to testify and social stigma were the major constrains in prosecuting offenders.
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She also identified other constraints as lack of facilities for Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) tests.
According to her, Lagos State has declared zero tolerance for sexual and child abuses.
"Although, we do not have official national statistics on how many children have been raped or sexually abused.
"But the daily reports from the media should keep us on our toes and keep us aware that we have an epidemic on our hands.
"Whether we are related to the victims or not, we should all be actively involved in its condemnation and prevention.
"When we condemn sexual perversion in strong terms, the perpetrators become uncomfortable and keep off,’’ she said
Jessica Ndupu, President, Society for Support and Welfare for the Under- Privileged, said child sexual abuse had a lifetime effect on victims.
Ndupu outlined some of the effects as severe distress, fear, shame, stigmatisation, discrimination and other physical and psychological health issues.