Child Difilment

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Index of articles > Business > International Business publications > Asia Africa Intelligence Wire articles >September 2003 articles
The Impact of Child Defilement On Society.
Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
| September 25, 2003 | Copyright
(From Times of Zambia - AAGM)
Byline: Nebert Mulenga And Potipher Tembo
IF the rate at which defilement cases are soaring in Zambia continues unabated, very little, if anything, positive would be said of the moral fibre of this Christian nation. Or else, who would like to exalt a nation where in every given week, not less than five children are reportedly defiled by close relatives or some other known people within the community? And the perpetrators mostly get away with mocking jail sentences as short as three months of simple imprisonment. Such is the prevailing situation that has continued laughing loudly in the face of every concerned Zambian parent and civic organisation fighting for the welfare of children. Even so, the amount of trauma and pain inflicted on the innocent children has not sneaked out unnoticed. Only a few months ago, a 12-year-old girl in Kitwe was diagnosed with severe syphilis after she was defiled by her 30-year-old uncle. In a few weeks that followed, some two sisters in Lusaka's George township aged eight and nine were lying in agony at the local clinic, nursing serious wounds on their private parts after being sexually abused by their own 36-year-old father. And all Lusaka residents and civic organisations are still mourning the death of an 11-year-old girl who was defiled by her 32-year-old step-brother for a period of over three years until she died of medical complications recently. "Just what has become of this nation?" is a question that remains begging as statistics of defilement cases keep swelling every other day. Between January and June this year, a total of 470 cases of child defilement were reported to the police through the Victim Support Unit (VSU). VSU national co-ordinator Peter Kanunka says the record represents a rapid increase in the number of cases handled by the Unit since its inception in 1996. In the year 2000, only 366 cases were recorded while in 2001 the number doubled to 715. Whether the increase is due to improved awareness is a question of debate but the general impression being created is that defilement cases have become more rampant and complicated today, leading to many deaths and permanent deformity of victims. "Some children have contracted STDs and tested HIV positive after being defiled which is tantamount to murder since there is no known cure for the virus at the moment," says Lusaka-based epidemiologist Mwaba Kasese. A medical superintendent for sub-division four under the Lusaka District Health Management Team, Dr Kasese has undertaken a number of studies on the various aspects of child defilement since 1999. Adolescents

According to her, defilement is not restricted to an actual sexual act with a minor. It includes the involvement of dependent, developmentally immature children and adolescents in any sexual activity which they (children) do not fully comprehend and are thus unable to give informed consent. This refers to the use of a child by adults for sexual gratification through exhibitionism, pornography, verbal, touching of private parts, oral-genital contact or actual vaginal sex. Defilement, however, does not exist in isolation but is usually accompanied by force which leaves painful lacerations on the child's private parts. If not checked on time, these may lead to long-term...
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