The director of Social Welfare has told children at the
ongoing 4th edition of the Scholar Athletes for Change (SAC) Basketball Summer
Camp, for students between the ages of 10 and 17,that too many sexually
victimised children never tell their abuse. This, she lamented is probably the
fact that these victims are afraid that someone will blame them, and thus keep
the abuse a secret.
Fanta Bai Secka made these remarks Wednesday at the
Friendship Hotel in Bakau, while presenting a paper on the topic 'Child sexual
abuse and HIV/AIDS.” She told the participants that many victims fear rejection
and punishment or are with the thinking that nobody will believe them when they
tell the story, adding that a relationship of trust or intimidation from the
abuser may also silence the child.
The Social Welfare director cited HIV/AIDS as one of the
harmful consequences of sexual abuse; a disease she said that cannot still be
cured.“Those who are infected
have to live with this disease for the rest of their lives, some being
abandoned by their families and friends,” she stated. She noted that some of
these victims experience trauma, strong physical suffering, and eventually end
up dying at a young age.
Secka then advised the children to protect themselves and
avoid anything that is related to sexual abuse, stressing that they should
focus more on their education. “Trust your feeling of discomfort no matter who
the person is. Say no to unwanted hugs, pats on your buttocks, and touching
that confuse or bother you,” she advised.
In his presentation, the chairman of the National Sports
Council, Bun Njie, enjoined the
participants to take up sporting disciplines such as basketball as their
career. He advised them to be discipline, hardworking, and be ambitious in
their endeavours. He then commended the SAC for organising this year's summer
camp and for encouraging students to learn more about the basketball game,