Child sexual abuse nigeria

Today, I am deviating a bit from the central theme of this blog, forgive me. It is for a good cause though.

I have a story to tell. Please be patient and read it all.

The other day (a Saturday, 11th June, 2016), I was at home, sat on my balcony, working on something. I am hardly ever out there but that day I was. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man take position to urinate in the gutter in front of the house. I absolutely detest that but it is one of those things that are just done in Nigeria. I looked at him and “eyed” him to show my displeasure but didn’t say anything. He looked straight at me. I went back to what I was doing. I was quite intent on my task but I noticed that he remained there for quite a while. I looked up and saw him looking straight at me and then I noticed that he was shaking his penis which is something guys do when they are done urinating, no? I was intent on my task and went back to it.

After about 1.5 minutes, it occurred to me that he was still there. I glanced at him, he was still shaking his penis and still looking straight at me. That was when it clicked that he wasn’t merely urinating. I got up and was only then able to confirm that he was masturbating and wanted me to see. You see, my house has a high-ish wall and I couldn’t see anything until I got up.

I immediately checked to see if there were any security guards on the street. We have several Mallams and they are almost always milling around. Like almost always. That day there was absolutely no-one around. I can’t remember the last time I experienced that.  I started screaming at The Pevert hoping to draw someone’s attention. I am not shy about things like this. Plus I don’t have victim mentality (I will come back to that statement) so I was shouting out exactly what he was doing on the road. I said “Why are you masturbating on the road? Pevert!”

Meanwhile, The Pevert was not in a hurry. He zipped up very slowly, apparently wanting me to see his penis now that I was standing and then he very slowly began to stroll away while I was shouting. In fact, he turned back a few times to look at me while I was in the middle of my tirade. Sometimes smiling, sometimes chuckling. Never with a straight face. It was beyond weird.

What was even weirder was that a male neighbor was then passing by at about that same time and rather than hold this individual, he was looking at me and smiling as he was walking by. I couldn’t understand that. If it were any of my brothers that heard that someone was masturbating publicly, they would have held unto and then turned him over to the police. This man (who has young children) was looking at me and smiling as he was passing the perp. In hindsight, it was as though he thought that I was just another female having a “female-type” melt-down.

I told The Pevert to wait for me so I could come down and beat him (again, I no dey fear) but I knew I wouldn’t reach him on time. Too many locked doors and stairs between me and him. Plus, I am not stupid. No mallams on the street meant that I would not have back-up should this man overpower me.

So, The Pevert got away.

I made it a point of duty to mention the episode to my housekeeper when she came to work the following Monday. Her first statement was ” So, he came back?” I was completely taken aback and further taken aback (if that is possible after being completely taken aback, lol) when she said that she had seen him at least twice and the last time, he had given her enough time to come into the house, get some water and pour it on him. (I honestly don’t know how well the water would have hit him as it is a bit of a distance from the balcony to his position across the wall).

But you see, this was not the most shocking thing. She said “Do you remember when I told you [your daughter] was out on the balcony and a man told her to come downstairs? I am pretty certain this is the same man.” So you see, this Pevert is not only a serial masturbator, he is also a potential pedophile.

I remember that episode clearly. I was out, just the housekeeper and my daughter were in, when this man told her to come downstairs to him. She says that he was holding a bag from which candy was sticking out. She immediately ran to get my housekeeper to show her the man. You see, my daughter is not allowed to open the door to non-family members much less exit the house on her own. It has been drummed into her since she was able to understand words. She is now 10years old so it is second nature. And she was able to sense danger.

You see, I have spoken to her about sexual parts, intercourse, rape and non-penetrative assault and she knows that anyone can pose a threat.

We call her body parts by name and have always done. No pet names. So her Vagina is called “Vagina”. Her buttocks is called “Buttocks or Bum”, her breasts are called “Breasts” A boy’s part is called “Penis”. No “my private place” ” my fluffy bits” or any of those flimsy euphemisms that people like to use. She also has a plan for if anything ever happens. I can’t share it here as it is private to us.

Let’s go back to The Pevert. As soon as I heard that he may be a potential pedophile I sent word to get a Stun Gun and pepper spray so that the next time he comes, I will be ready. I also have phone numbers for the mallams on my street so that if I can, I will surreptitiously call on them to hold him.

I asked the housekeeper why she did not call on the Mallams to catch him and she said that on both occasions, there were zero mallams available to call upon. So clearly, The Pevert scopes the area before he begins. A clever pervert is a dangerous pervert.

Now let’s talk about my driver’s reaction which I found to be quite interesting and typically Nigerian. He said he had heard of such a man in the adjoining area but had never seen him. That there was talk that he was under a curse and that someone had “shekpe-ed” for him from the village. That it would not be a good idea to attack him because he may have an underlying illness that will kill him for sure if he were ever attacked for what he was doing.

I told him that in my opinion, this guy was nothing more than a deviant and was being stripped of responsibility by attributing it to superstitious beliefs. I asked him if the flashers, pedophiles and sexual deviants in America were also victims of a curse. No answer.

This whole things makes me wonder:

1. What happens if I catch The Pevert and hand him over to the police? Will they let him go? Can they hold him on any charges? Even rape is so difficult to convince them on, how would they treat this flasher and masturbator?

2. When will we begin to take matters of sexual assault seriously in this country? You can see that on one end, the society sort of condones it under superstitious beliefs. On the other hand (as is the case with my neighbor) we just look on. By the way, this man has young kids who may be allowed a freer hand to leave the house than my own child.

3. How many of us have spoken to our kids (boys and girls) about sex? I am a very shy person but I determined early on that I would be the first person to talk to my daughter about it so that she has the right information. I was not going to let my shyness get in the way. Imagine my shock when one of my friends who also has a 10-year old daughter said that she has never spoken to her daughter about sex. There are plenty of depraved people waiting in the wings, ready to share practical sessions with these susceptible children.

RE: victim mentality. In Nigeria, one gets the feeling that things like this should be hushed up. That you should just thank The Lord that you dodged a bullet and not let anyone know. That if you told too many people, they would wonder about you. They create a “victim mentality” and I am not about that business.

If we all kept quiet, problems like these would never be resolved.

To end, this story, this experience comes at a time when we (my NITC co-organizers and I) have asked for the help of Iheoma Obibi, an African feminist writer and human rights activist to come and give a talk at the meet up about “How to talk to Children about sex and sexuality“. Please note that we said “children” not “girls”. All children are vulnerable. This talk is so important to me that I will try to tape and upload it for those that will be unable to make it. If you are able to make it though, details are in the flyer below.

Talk to children about sex nigeria

46 Comments

Glenny

Thank you for sharing this. I believe this is quite common but some people choose to keep silent about it. I agree with you that no child is spared with paedophiles both male and female. Will the police release the pervert? Hopefully no but we both know the real answer to that question. Nevertheless your comebacks are spot on but you should still report the case even before you catch him. Stay safe xoxo

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Natural Nigerian

I didn’t think about reporting to the Police at all. I was just waiting for him to come back. I will take your advice though. It makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

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Tomiwa

NN, my daughter is only three years old and we talk about body parts everyday. Why? Cuz she keeps coming home with a different idea about her body parts than what i have taught her. I walked in on a five year old mimicking the act of sex with her and i still cringe till this day. She knew what I had taught her, but allowed the girl to pull her clothes down in the name of friendship. I felt like I had failed, i didn’t capture friends in all my do’s and don’ts. Turns out that the five year old was being molested by a seven year old, and she got to see adults having sex in her presence. Sex ed is necessary, we need to be the first and most accurate and least judgmental source of information on sex for our kids. And we really need to shake of these ideas of spiritualism and religiosity that clouds our judgment and decision making in this country if we want to make progress.

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Natural Nigerian

I was just going to suggest the 5year old was being molested when I read the rest of your comment.

This thing is really rampant in Nigeria and you are right, the information should be coming from us. My parents told me last week of a child that asked her parents to tell her what sex was. They declined to do so. She then asked the driver who gave her a practical lesson. Sad. Unnecessary.

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Ency

Thank you so much for sharing. I have two daughters (3 years and 11 months) and I think it’s about time I started giving my 3 year old a sex ed. It’s scary what the world is becoming but we have to protect the innocence of our young ones. I remember when my little girl just started school, when I would give her a bath, she’d hold her belly button and go “wee wee”. I was traumatised not to say the least. Got to school the next day and warned her teachers not to have the girls and the boys use the toilets together.

As for the pervert, it is a good idea to report the man first. Please don’t go easy on him with the pepper spray the next time he decides to venture near your fence.

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Natural Nigerian

I am beginning to find out with the state of the world, it is never too early. Well done, mama!

The thunder that will visit that pevert via my pepper spray and stun gun will be phenomenal.

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Berry Dakara

Wow! Kudos to you for being vigilant! I’m certainly tucking away this advice and sharing with my sisters and friends that have children.

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Umma

I’m so thankful you shared this, I was molested as a child by both females and a male relative & God help me, I will not make the mistake of keeping my children in the dark about sex as soon as possible.

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Mobi

Wow. Thank you for sharing. I have an 11 yr old sister and I can’t imagine this sort of thing happening to her. Please record the session for those of us who are not in Lagos. Sharing this now!

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Naomi

Absolutely nothing will happen to that pervert if you report him. In cases with medical and physical evidence of Child Molestation, the Nigerian Police Force will be the first to tell you to accept whatever financial offer the perpetrator’s family offers you and drop the case and they will drag their feet until you show up with a lawyer, a worker from an NGO and a news reporter. Your best bet is to tell the mallams to lock him inside the street/close next time he shows up and oversee the beating yourself. Let it be a very proper beating (not slaps or punches, blood flow). That is the only way to keep your child safe. I’m speaking from experience. Your neighbour is an idiot but his behaviour is what 70% of Nigerian people in his situation will do. My husband, who told me thay he will kill anyome who touches our child, was once listening to an activist on the radio talk about how she was constantly molested from childhood to adulthood and he laughed. When I confronted him with details of my attack, he refused to listen. No-one teaches most men in Nigeria that it is bad.

My brother gifted me with a copy of Nomthi Odukoya’s “No, Don’t Touch Me There” and I have sworn to read it to my baby when she hits 3 (hubby is naively thinking we don’t need to and calling me a crazy overreacting mum).

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Natural Nigerian

There is often a disconnect, I find. Our men are not very sensitive to sex, even when they should know better.

I am sorry about your experience and I know that you will be so vigilant over your daughter, she won’t go through the same. And, no. You are not a crazy overreacting mum. Better to be pro-active than reactive in this case.

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Agan

I’m definitely sharing your article because this issue is so prevalent in our society today (especially here in the Southeast), and none wants to talk about it.
I cannot understand our people’s reluctance to talk or act on important issues like sex, sexual abuse, death.
Love your blog, please keep up the good work.

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An Afrikan Butterfly

“Why are you masturbating on the road? Pevert!”
LMAO that’s definitely something I’d do.
But that’s the only funny thing about this very serious topic.

It is crazy how we have resolved as a community to remain in the dark, stupidly naive on this topic. People do not want to accept that we, as in Nigerians, have many psychos like this one lurking amongst us. Like your driver, they’d rather say nah, it must be madness, or it must be a curse. We once had this argument at my workplace, and the majority insisted that Africans have their morals right, and sexual depravity is for “white people”, the exceptions being crazy or cursed Africans, or people that need to do certain things for jazz/ juju. I call bullshit.

We have perverts amongst us, and they are not monsters or masquerades. They do not wear masques. They do not hide in alleys at night. They look like us. They are family, they are daddies, they are friends, they are “respectable” on the surface, they do not look a certain way. I don’t have children yet, but, I will make sure I talk to them very early on. To paraphrase my mom, if trouble/ sickness, has no shame in coming to me or affecting me, why should i be ashamed to talk about it? Few things are too scandalous to be said, in my opinion, if at all. And this, this culture of sexual molestation, is a sickness. It is trouble. We must talk about it.

I think it’s also important for parents, or anyone who interacts with young children to note the people they don’t like, the adults that make them uncomfortable.

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olaotan

Its very nice of you to share this…i’ve about 2 friends that were sexually assaulted when they were kids, the first didnt tell her parents, the second did and was warned not to tell anyone about it, nothing was done…thats the way we are in this country. about “victim mentality” …. so so true. pepper spray, lol. i cant believe i missed that talk show, anyway my ears are to the ground from now.

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Tunde Sanusi (Tuham)

I have a younger sister who’s going to clock 16 soon this year and i did tried my best to talk about ‘these matter’ moderately cos am kind of (should i say shy?).
I thought discussing about the matters esp for a female child is ought to be told by an adult female but my elder sis is married and mom isn’t usually free to engage in that so am left with the responsibility

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Chancey

My dear, you were too nice to that bastard.
I would be sending him holy hot water and worry about the consequences later.

I’ve been reading some really disturbing levels of paedophilia in this country.
I swear it.shall not be well to the entity who harms my baby, I will obliterate you hoha no other way about it.

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Ella

I am not surprised. That man has some underlying mental issues, it goes beyond sexual deprivation. A sexually deprived person with his/her “number and 6” intact will not visit the same place twice and display his penis and masturbate in broad daylight!!! I am worried that this twisted display of worrisome behavior may be part of some fixation he has. If you guys have a neighborhood watch, this issue should be discussed and maybe just to stretch it a little bit further any information that can be found out about that man will be beneficial at some point in time. Please report to the Police! I have had a personal experience – the man stood behind me in a queue (election period) and I noticed he would always lean so close. I asked that he create a space between us… eventually he took it to the last level and came! I heard him moan and knew what had happened, I raised an alarm, the front of his jeans was wet and he got the beating of his life!

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Priscilla

God bless him NN for this. Indeed the society’s reaction to these matters is shameful.
This has challenged me to go have a talk with my younger sisters (16 & 21) cos even if they know it doesn’t hurt to reinforce. Plus I’m their mum now as our mum is late. Shyness is no excuse. May God keep protecting our children

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Grace

Oh my goodness! If the man tried to lure your daughter, who knows if he succeeded with other kids? God forbid!! I talk with my girls frequently and they know the legit names of their body parts. The one time a classmate tried to touch my daughter inappropriately, she informed me and we were able to handle it. My struggle is that my 8 year old hates our ‘body talks’ as we call them. I am praying for wisdom with her. I know she hears other things at school too and I wish she was as open with me as my elder daughter is. Raising children is not easy oh. I am also very concerned about the way we are raising boys to view girls/women in our culture. It troubles me greatly.

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Natural Nigerian

Hi Grace,

I am glad that they know the parts of their body properly, that is the only way for them to report back exact locations they were touched or asked to touch. It really is not easy but with His Grace, we will do it.

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Chi

Its alarming how pedophiles walk about freely and to worsen matters, the offenders when caught in the act will blame the devil. NN, thanks for this post. Being a mother is not an easy task. Pls, post the discuss with Iheoma. Thanks.

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Seun

You have to be extra alert really, the fact that he keeps coming back to your house means there’s something drawing him back. If you have a general description maybe tell the mallams around so they are constantly looking out for him. You might have to add a little incentive for them, but in the end it’s all about your security, your daughter’s and even your housekeeper’s.

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Chinwa

You should also take note that the Mallams will all go to the Mosque on Friday between 12noon to 4pm. So i think you should put extra security within this time gap, as i suspect that is when any pervert would visit a well scoped area. We have had constant cases of theft which takes place on Sundays when everybody has gone to church in my neighbourhood that we now have to mix the security men, there are Christians and Muslims amongst them, that no matter the time and day, some of them are always on board.

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Natural Nigerian

This is so helpful. I wouldn’t have thought about that. Thank you for sharing. We have only Muslims so clearly there is a gap. Thank you so much, Chinwa.

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Olufunmi

Its my first time on your blog, thanks to google. I was reading your other posts when I saw this particular post. Its really sad to know that our country does not concentrate on little but very important topics as sex ed. I have a two months old daughter but I am always careful as I have a lot of young male neighbours because I have heard a story where a neighbour put his fingers into a 4months old baby girl to masturbate as the mum dropped the baby with him to quickly get something from the next street and caught him in the act. We don’t have to wait for our kids to reach a certain age before we start monitoring or giving sex ed, the earlier we know there are crazy people in this world the better for us. I always walk around with pepper spray in my bag and I have used it on guys trespassing especially at night. GOD HELP US ALL.

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mimiz

I read your post and all the comments amidst tears. Maybe because I was molested as a child but I was quick enough to realize what was going on so it did not go beyond the idiot touching me. Please reinforce security on your street. The pervert might also be a kidnapper or ritualist.

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Yemi

I just came across 4th his post. Ella n SEUN, s combined my points. Why does he keep in coming to that place. He comes their with intent, well aware of what he is doing, knowing you’re there and he wanted you to watch! He’s simply stalking you guys!!!

Do not take this lightly! Well know the mentality and attitude of our police force, nevertheless, report him to the police. Report him to the NEIGHBOURS, NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH or the COMMUNITY GROUP if u have one in your area, then the MALLAMS. Let all your neighbours know there’s a man who goes about masturbating on the streets in the area., stalking little girls and women with his sick attitude. Let them know what he did to ur daughter. Expose him! You definitely will be saving someone. If he has done this to your daughter and you, it’s definitely not his first time. He must have done it elsewhere, will attempt to try it again with your household and will definitely try it with other pple in other areas if he is not checked.

I pray no child or adult will fall prey to him. I pray the Holy Spirit will expose this sick pervert and he will be disgraced!

These are the type of men who sleep with their own daughters.

PLEASE ACT FAST!

Thanks for sharing.

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Hadassah Agbaps

While I won’t say it’s a wrong approach to talk about this to our children, I’m worried because looking at the response, the main focus is educating the daughters. It’s all well and good but I also think it’s simply giving them more words to describe the scenario in any event they God forbid are molested. I also doubt they’ll have the strength to push away a persistent molester.

We should stop focusing all training on the girls. Let me give an example, I saw a mother with two childrena boy and a girl who wanted to urinate. The mother quickly undid the fly of the son while looking for a private place for the girl to urinate.

Which brings us to how we (both men and women) even think it’s normal for a man to unzip his fly and just urinate in public….which brings us to why your neighbour didn’t see anything alarming in his attitude and might have laughed at your “female sensitivity”…..afterall it’s just “man things” and as long as he didn’t barge into the house, he’s extremely harmless ………which brings to mind what would have happened if the “harmless guy just urinating in public” decided to actually break into the house seeing as no mallams were around. I doubt all that knowledge would provide the real strength needed to fend off a persistent molester….until it’s too late.

My point is if a man opening his fly and urinating in public is a socially condemned habit, I don’t think you would even have seen such a situation and if it did happen, I’d be more confident that your complaint would be taken seriously.
In an attempt not to “feminize” a boy, we leave out the basic training.
If the man had overpowered you, what next? How sure are you that the man wouldn’t have made you look like the loco woman by saying “Oh, I was just taking a piss and this crazy woman came with her wahala” and the men would shake their head as in “women…”.
That’s a similar scenario that may also play out in the police station.

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Araba

God bless you Hadassah. You hit the nail on the “correct” head.

We must condemn in very strong terms (language too) this despicable act of urinating in public. It’s very offensive. So annoying when men locate parked vehicles (like dogs) unzip and let go. They are not perturbed by the presence of other people. Even more worrisome is the fact that women have joined the fray…….half squatting or full squat sef. This horrible habit is picked up from childhood like Hadassah rightly posted.

I went to my neighbour’s house the other day. Her 5yr old boy came out of the living room , stepped on the balcony , pulled out his micro penis and proceeded to urinate on the porch. I had not fininshed saying “why are you urinating there” when his 2yr old sister came out, bent down and started to urinate too. Did you ask about their mom? She was standing beside me oh. Her response was “these children sef, they will not listen”?

I have tried to dissuade some fellows from urinating in front of my office. Sometimes asking (especially the females) to come into our office to use the restroom. More often than not, the men ask me if “your office reach here”, “abi I dey piss for your head”?

Our journey far but it’s doable. Reorientation, education and re-education is the way to go.

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Jubemi Omabuwa

Just a a few weeks ago, I was on my way to the salon when a young man greeted me as he passed by, i answered him and kept walking while trying to make a call on my phone. I then realised the young man had stopped in front of me, I looked up and saw he was flashing. Imagine my shock! I looked around the normally busy street but for some weird reason the street was empty. I was so scared. When he had satisfied himself that I had seen his penis he walked away. Now after reading your post I realise I have failed. Next time I will shout and look for a stick or stone and aim for his head. Stupid pig! Thanks for this post #speakout

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Danielle

That is how the other day at a NIMC office while waiting to get my national ID card the man sitting opposite me started masturbating angling his body in such a way that I’d be the only one to see it, IN A PUBLIC PLACE!!! later on after I’d left that sitting area, he asked me for my phone number, imagine. when he realized I was avoiding being withing touching distance with him, he told me that he fucked up, his words, that it was my beauty that made him do that. What was going through my mind the whole time was that it had to be a normal occurrence for him to be that bold to masturbate in such a public place. Such perverted behaviours need to be properly addressed in this country, not overlooked.

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Omerebere

This post reminds me of a weird experience of like 5 years ago. I was invited to give a talk one Sunday evening. Realised i was running late and no cab was forth coming, I had to join the ‘standing’ passengers in one of those coaster buses now replaced with brt only to find myself in front of a pervert hargard looking man who came too close to me only to put forth his penis and was stroking me from behind. At first I asked him to move back as there was enough space behind him but he pretended. Again he almost rested himself on me. I didn’t want to create a scene in such an environment being my first time. But this time, I couldn’t but feel his now upright penis trying to force it’s way on my butt. My next swift move landed a hot slap on his face and that was when onlooking passengers started screaming and calling me names. When I turned around, I saw that it was only men who rained insults on me, saying I am turning down a free offer which will become scarce in future, then my ‘time’s would have passed (like seriously?) By the time I got off, an argument had already erupted between the male and female passengers on who is right between us…i couldn’t believe it was happening. Such is the kind of shame our society condones.

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