What is sexual abuse? When a child or young person is sexually abused, they’re forced or tricked into sexual activities. They might not understand that what’s happening is abuse or that it’s wrong. And they might be afraid to tell someone. Sexual abuse can happen anywhere and it can happen in person or online.

In a powerful message, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Mirabel Centre has called on the public to refrain from blaming victims of sexual abuse and instead hold the perpetrators accountable.

Taking to its official Twitter handle, @MirabelCenterNG, the NGO emphasized that neither the child who has experienced sexual abuse nor their parents should be subject to blame for the traumatic ordeal.

Mirabel Centre stressed that sexual abuse can impact children regardless of their age, religious beliefs, cultural background, or socio-economic status. It emphasized that there is no foolproof method to shield children from the risk of sexual abuse.

To minimize this risk and safeguard children from harm, the NGO urged parents to be well-informed about sexual abuse and to cultivate an open, trusting relationship with their children.

Accurate information makes us stronger and equips us to build protective environments and respond better when children face problems. Speak to your children and listen to them too. Build an open relationship with your children. Let them know they can trust you and share any information with you. Show more interest in their day-to-day lives and give them a chance to raise topics to discuss,” the statement read.

Additionally, the organization appealed to parents to stay vigilant about their surroundings and to closely monitor their children’s behavior.

Be aware of what is happening around you, your community and pay attention to your children’s behavior and take note of changes. Also, observe the behavior of adults who spend time with your children,” the organization advised.

Mirabel Centre, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), offers crucial support services free of charge to survivors of sexual assault.

The NGO urged the public to seek help promptly if they suspect a child may be at risk or has experienced abuse, providing helpline numbers for immediate assistance: 08187243468, 0815 5770000.

This outreach underscores the critical importance of providing a safe and supportive environment for survivors of sexual abuse.