In view of the widening gap in parent – teacher adolescent communication in recent time, Human Development Initiatives (HDI) has called on teenagers especially in schools to speak out against any form of abuse that they may be going through.
Speaking on behalf of the organisation at programme hosted by Debirus College, the Psycho-Social Counsellor of the organisation, Mrs Olufunso Owasanoye told the students that they have the right under local and international laws to speak out against any form of abuse and the society has an obligation to listen.
She stated that “Adolescents are free to express their opinion without being pressured or manipulated. Every child has a right to protection from harm, hurt and discrimination. They also have the right to participation in speaking out and to be listened to”
She went further to explain that the biggest challenge to the rights of adolescent to speaking out against abuse is the use of threat by the perpetrators of the abuse. According to her “Threats languages that are often used include; ‘If you tell I will hurt you’; ‘I will hurt your father/siblings/mother’; or ‘The family will break up’. Unfortunately, abusers use threats successfully because children are taught to believe and obey adults”
Through the lecture delivered, HDI used the platform to equip the students with necessary information that they need as adolescents and also to clear their misconceptions about love, Sex and sexual exploitation by encouraging them on their right to speak out against any form emotional trauma, abuse or harassments.