Nigerian Nannies/ Domestic Workers: Protecting and Safeguarding the Children under your care.

According to UNICEF NIGERIA, 1 out of every four Nigerian girls , and 10% of Nigerian boys, have been victims of sexual violence in their lifetime. A lot of these abuses / assaults go on undetected and unreported.

We often see and hear of nannies falling out with their Madams/ Ogas, sometimes for even the smallest of reasons.

It will do Nannies and other Nigerian domestic workers a lot of good to sometimes put themselves in the employers place, in order to see things from the employers’ perspectives.

Some Nannies do come to us, ( naively) complaining that they only just left the children( especially the girl child/ children) with the family driver or security ( not a stranger oo, someone who has been in the family employ for years oooo), to go and buy something down the road, for just 20 mins , and when they returned, their Madam/ Oga was furious. And the Nannies are surprised and usually hurt by these angry outbursts from their employers.

Some times, the case might be, the Nanny left the children in the care of one distant young uncle who just came in from the University for the holidays, and they comfortably left the child in his care to attend to other things that needed to be done in the house.

If you are a Nanny, in charge of children, especially girls, please know that times have changed! There is a reason why most employers who work, hire and entrust the care of their children to mostly female nannies/ caregivers. It is for that maternal instinct and protection inherent in females, especially over young ones.

According to UNICEF, there is a high likelihood of little girls being sexually molested by those closest to them, and this could go on, easily undetected. ( This is not to say that some Nannies/ aunties are not perpetrating this crime against the male child/ children under them, no, but we will come to this later.

If you are hired as a Nanny /Domestic worker, your Madam or Oga expects you to watch over the children under your care like a HAWK! The way you will watch after your own children!

DO NOT LEAVE THE GIRL CHILD/CHILDREN UNDER YOU, WITH THE SECURITY , DRIVER , CLEANER, UNCLE, AND DASH TO RUN AN ERRAND. PLEASE PROTECT THE CHILDREN UNDER YOU, STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING!.

Do not leave ,especially girls with males to go and run an errand for just 10 , 20, 30 60 minutes, a lot of ugly things can happen to that child within that short time frame. We have heard of babies of 10 months, 2 years , 3 years and such, being raped by people who looked so responsible, you wouldn’t have suspected that they had such evil in them.

If you must go out to do something urgently, please take permission from your employer and hand over her daughter(s) to her, even if it’s for 5 minutes, before dashing out to run your personal errands. Or wait for when she might be free.

If you go on an outing with the family, do not be carried away by the ongoing activities, music and people, all dressed nicely and acting nicely, strange things happen at parties and events, hold/latch on firmly to the hands of the child, NO MATTER WHAT, DO NOT LET GO!

You, as a nanny, is responsible for that child / children under you. You are responsible for them mentally, physically, psychologically and more. Do not be too trusting with people at the children’s school, at the church, neighbourhoods park or estates, ( even the fathers of some of the children’s playmates). We all heard of the incidence in Abuja, where a young boy-child was raped by a grown “responsible man”, in the same estate with the little boy. Do not take these things for a joke.

If you notice or suspect that one daddy, uncle, stepdaddy, driver, security, aunty, school mother, school father is molesting a child, please try and safely get evidence( lest they deny it), and report to the child/children’s mother. If you are scared that the mother might not believe you, get across to NAPTIP, they will know how to professionally and politely approach the issue with the mother and ” Save that child“, which is the most important thing in this case. Not the mother feelings or anybody’s feelings.

Even if you are not so friendly with your Madam, consider the children you are caring for, and protect them against all threats, both within the home and externally, from outsiders.

Now, we have also heard heart wrenching stories of Nannies who sexually assault the boys under their care. If you are a nanny and you are doing this to a child, stop it immediately, you will be caught and you will go to jail.

Do not rape a boy-child under you, do not lure the boy or touch him in his genitals any time you are bathing him, this is morally and legally wrong!. You are psychologically, mentally, emothionally and physically destroying that boy for life, and you will be sent to prison when caught ( because one day, you will definitely be caught). A lot of employers now, install cameras in places around the house that you might not know of. Nigerian government and other international organizations like UNICEF do not play around with issues like this.

If you notice within yourself, that you are beginning to have these feelings, please resign from that job immediately and seek mental help and counselling from organizations like NAPTIP and other NGOs well versed in such issues. The job of government organizations like NAPTIP, is not to arrest people alone, they provide counseling too. They can counsel you and help you understand the root cause of your sexual abuse and how to totally rid yourself of it, before it destroys your own life. You know what we say in Nigeria, 99 days for the thief, 1 day for the owner. If you are suffering from this unusual sexual urge, help yourself before it destroys your life. Others like you have been helped, you can be helped too. You can also contact us directly, if you do not want to go directly to NAPTIP for help.

In conclusion, we must all put in all the required effort as nannies, parents NGOs and all, to protect the children in our homes.

Thank you for reading through, kindly hit the share button, to share to your contacts, friends and family. If you have any contributions or additions, we will be happy to learn from you in the comments section or via our email [email protected]

Source: https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/child-protection

NAPTIP : https://www.naptip.gov.ng/

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