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First Lady Masisi launches campaign against sexual abuse

Publishing Date : 04 December, 2018


The First Lady, Mrs. Neo Jane Masisi, this week officially launched the UNICEF campaign against sexual exploitation and abuse under the theme: "Eseng Mo Ngwaneng." ‘’As a mother of a young girl I find this campaign close to my heart because I too want to protect my daughter Atsile. But I can only protect her if I fight to protect other young girls out there.’’ First lady said.

“After listening to these sad stories of sexual abuse survivors, it made me wonder how many other young girls out there are going through the same situation but don’t have the courage to speak up’’ she added. Sexual exploitation and abuse happens everywhere but it is one of the things that are taken lightly because in African culture, it is hidden, but it is done by the closest people in the family. “It is the secrecy that surrounds the community’’ First Lady highlighted.

Children aged between 15 and 19 years old have the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence and the number of girls affected are three times higher than boys. “If you know or suspect sexual abuse is happening and keep quiet, you are part of the problem. We are the adults and we have equal power to the abuser. The child has no power, so the responsibility is on adults to speak up.” - Julianna Lindsey, UNICEF Representative

Lone Tshubang, a young girl who is the Chairperson of the Children Consultative Forum advised parents to ask the necessary questions. She said that if parents are comfortable talking to their children about their whereabouts, they should also ask their kids who they are talking to on the internet and what they share on the internet.  "We are not safe even in our parents’ presence. I am not asking for change. I am demanding change. E seng mo ngwaneng. E seng mo go nna,’’ she said. The campaign forms part of the National 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. “This shouldn't only be for the next four months, it should be a 365 days norm,” pleaded First Lady.



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