Many children in Nigeria are victims of one form of child abuse or another. Beyond the rampant cases of sexual and physical abuse, a lot of children are also exposed to psychological and emotional abuse. Another major form of abuse that is common but not often acknowledged is neglect, which is a case of the absence of a caring adult in a child’s life.
Considering that Child Centeredness is our number one core value, every employee is expected to understand how to relate with, protect and safeguard children.
“Child protection is our business,” said Miss Nkennor, our Head of Counselling during the recent child protection training for new employees held at our Anthony Campus. “Children deserve to be protected, so as adults we need to think safety and take responsibility for the safeguarding of children.”
The essence of the child protection training was to provide employees with the knowledge and ability to recognize different types of abuse and learn how to safeguard children both within and outside the school premises. The training also served as an avenue for new employees to interact, share experiences and talk about proactive ways to protect children.
The counsellor explained some of the factors that can increase the risk of child abuse such as; unhealthy family relationships, exposure to alcohol or hard drugs, unemployment and neighbours unwillingness to intervene, and ensured that each employee understood the meaning of child abuse, the different types of abuse and how to recognize when a child is being abused.
“At the end of the training we should be able to tell the possible signs that a child is being abused whether emotionally, physically, verbally, or sexually, or if the child is a victim of neglect,” added Miss Nkennor
Speaking on the topic of neglect as a form of child abuse, she said “what neglect does to children is that it causes them to have attachment issues.”
“Spending time with parents help children build bonds. When kids are not able to connect with other people, it’s because they are being neglected, especially at home. This often causes them to act out and it can also negatively affect their academic performance,” she concluded.