Parents in Nakuru East have been challenged to create stronger bonds with their children to protect them from falling into child online Sexual molestation.
At a training organized by Childline Kenya at Hotel Marvin on Wednesday after, the parents drawn from various backgrounds also gave their input regarding child molestation especially online.
“Currently, internet is very cheap and easily available. This is one of the factors that has made it so easy for our children to access even pornographic material online,” said a concerned parent.
Addressing the gathering, Phillip Ng’ok the president of Nakuru Youth Bunge forum said the training had come to Nakuru at the right time.
“Nakuru is one of the urban centers with a very high internet penetration rate. Our children are at risk and this dialogue has come at the right time. We need as parents to be aware of the risks our children face and how we can mitigate the same,” said Ng’ok.
The facilitator of the session Ms. Joy Katunge from Childline Kenya organization took the parents through some of the ways children get entangled in online sexual molestation.
“We did a research which was an eye opener to is. Children are being involved in sexting, shooting child pornography with the parents completely ignorant,” said Joy.
She called upon the parents to be their children’s best friends and be open to them especially in matters pertaining to sexuality.
AFFORDABLE INTERNET TO BLAME FOR ONLINE SEXUAL MOLESTATION
Cheap internet availability and the proliferation of cheap phones were some of the causes identified during the highly interactive session.
The parents gave real live experiences that they has gone through with their children and offered each other solutions to the same.
Unemployment which leads to a lot of young people being idle was also identified as a cause for the widespread online sexual molestation.
“Give an idle person free internet and a cheap phone and he may end up spending his hours online doing illegal things including sexual molestation,” said Niver Oluchiri a parent and motivational speaker from Nakuru.
Other causes identified were; peer pressure, irresponsible parents who had no time for their children, poverty and inadequate initiatives from the government and private citizens.
CREATING AWARENESS IN MAJOR CITIES ABOUT ONLINE SEXUAL MOLESTATION
Ms. Joy Katunge revealed that the initiative was a joint effort from Childline Kenya, Terres Des Hommes (TDH) and the African Institute for Children Studies (AICH).
“We are working in the four major urban centers in the country where there are higher risks of children internet sexual molestation. Currently the program is running in Mombasa, Nairobi, Kisumu and Nakuru,” said Joy.
The Nakuru program is focused on Nakuru Town East Sub-county.
The program is aimed at creating awareness in parents who will spread the information to other parents and act as a catalyst for change.