As a mother of two girls, I always worry about the things my children are exposed to day in and day out. Despite my efforts to teach them how to stay out of trouble and out of harm's way, I have no control over their friends. Nor the type of influence on them at school, particularly by their peers.
A Malaysian mum recently got the shock of her life when her eight-year-old son confided in her about something that happened at school.
Apparently, her son was asked by a classmate to follow him to the toilet to play rogol in school. This invitation to rogol or "play rape" is appalling coming from an eight-year-old. Just imagine a mum hearing that coming out of her son's mouth!
To think he could have been a victim, or hurt or even traumatised in any way. To make matters worse, the boy who made the "request" is known to be quite forceful in nature as well.
Transcript of the Conversation About the Rogol in School (Play Rape)
Son: He dragged me to the toilet situated at the back, where the ladies toilet is. He asked me to play rape with him.
Mum: Play rape? What do you mean?
Son: He pulled my arm and asked me to follow him. He said he wanted to pee. I told him I just wanted to wash my face, but he kept asking me to follow him.
Mum: What happened next?
Son: Then I told him off. I told him that I will tell my mother what he said.
Mum: Anybody else involved? Has he done this to anyone else?
Son: He only asked me. But I have another friend named A. He has invited the other boys to play rape as well. He asked another boy to lie down. A boy from primary two as well. He "raped" my friend. Both of them are in my class.
Mum: Tomorrow I will see your class teacher.
Son: There’s no need for that! I have already told the teacher, but the teacher did not do anything at all. I told Teacher E… all the teachers. I told Religious Teacher M, Teacher N and then Cikgu F. Cikgu F punished him the other day. Please come to the school and see that boy, mum.
Mum: I will go and see him tomorrow.
Say NO to Sexual Harassment and Rogol in School
What has become of our children? Why would something as inappropriate as rogol in school happen at all?! What happened to playing hopscotch, guli (marbles) and skip rope?
Playing chase and catch is what normal kids would do – no rogol in school. No playing rape. The school should be a safe learning space.
It was a good thing her son knew about personal boundaries as well as safe and unsafe touching. Ten years ago, topics like this would be unheard of because it was taboo to talk about it.
Today, more and more teachers, as well as parents, are more aware and less ashamed to discuss these things. They are starting to see the importance of educating children about personal boundaries and sexual harassment. And it doesn't only happen to girls, it happens to the boys too.
If children are not equipped with the knowledge to defend themselves, it is very easy for them to fall prey to inappropriate acts and sexual predators.
Teachers also should not turn a blind eye to such incidents because they are uncomfortable to deal with. Both parents and teachers need to understand the power of peer pressure and influence on a child.
Cases like these need early detection and intervention so that it can stop. Only then can those involved begin to receive the treatment and counselling that they need.
It's also good that the little boy in this incident felt comfortable enough to talk to his mother about it. That's why it is so important that parents nurture their children to have open communication channels with them always. To learn how to do this, please read our article.
Source: World of Buzz
Lead and feature image credit: Wiki Commons, Facebook