SEXUAL exploitation or defilement of minors appears to be an historical occurrence which can be found in every culture and in every society, Zambia included.
Except that in Zambia the drift seems to be growing at an extremely fearsome rate because a day hardly passes without hearing of a child being defiled or sodomised.
What is shocking however is that in many cases these oddballs of the society are close relatives of the victims who are sometimes protected by family members for fear of losing bread winners.
Sadly too, many such cases go unreported for action for various reasons such as fear of vendetta, feelings of guilt, shame, confusion, and distrust in concerned institutions, cultural and social conditions.
There are also issues of misinformation regarding the services from helpers. The circumstances can be this exasperating.
Yet what is certain is that millions of children in the world including Zambia are today victims of exploitation and sexual abuse.
Examples of child defilement are numerous and these include rape, sodomy, and sexual penetration with objects.
Sexual exploitation of defenceless children includes an adult victimizing a minor for advancement, sexual gratification, or profit like introducing them to prostitution or trafficking in child pornography.
We all know that defilement is having sexual intercourse with a person (this includes both boys and girls) under the age of 18 years. It doesn’t matter whether the person has given consent or not. The major determinant in defilement is age
When you defile something, it literally means that you make it adulterated, therefore defilement – having sexual intercourse with a minor – as we commonly know it, has for years been a big enigma in Zambia.
Defilement of children appears to be on rise in Zambia and many Zambians now doubt that this malevolent can be won through tauter chastisement and sensitization only.
Other schools of thought seem to suggest the fight against this vice will require personal effort and change of mind-set by the people in communities to stop the activity.
No doubt some people are pushing this wicked act due to myths of cure for some STI and AIDS or cleansing from some evil spirits of some sort and/or simply lack of self-control.
Just the two days ago Police in Nakonde arrested a 25-year-old man for allegedly defiling a nine-year-old girl.
Muchinga Province Commissioner of Police Joel Njase named the suspect as Osward Siame aged between 20 and 25 years of Ntindi Village in Chieftainess Waitwika’s area.
“Male Wisdom Singoyi, aged 25 years, of Nantimbwa Village, Chief Waitwika, District Nakonde, reported on behalf of female juvenile aged nine of Ntindi Village, also a grade two pupil the subject offence of defilement,” he said.
Mr Njase said Siame found the girl playing with her friends in the village and persuaded her to follow him to another place about three kilometres from Ntindi Village on the Great North Road.
He dragged her into the nearby bush where he forcefully defiled her.
Mr Njase said Mr Singoyi, a passerby who was getting back home, heard strange noises of a minor crying and shouting for help in the nearby bush and alerted other people.
He said Mr Singoyi and other concerned people promptly apprehended Siame and reported the matter at the police station.
He said the victim’s grandmother said Siame had the habit of dragging her granddaughters and forcing himself on them.
Mr Njase said the same woman said Siame had earlier defiled the older sister of the latest victim, but the matter was not reported at the police station.
Child defilement is decadent and efforts should not be spared to rid these cranks from our communities because children are the future of each and every nation.