A mentally challenged person is someone who is mentally handicapped, and not able to learn or develop skills at the same rate as most other people because they have an issue with their brain. In other words, we can think of mentally challenged people as those who need special care or face learning difficulties.
The rate at which mentally challenged teenagers are abused in Nigeria keeps increasing at an alarming rate as no one wants to shoulder the responsibility of a mentally retarded person. Female teenagers in this category have a higher risk of experiencing domestic and sexual violence as they have little or no awareness of their environment. Men nowadays see them as “free pleasure partners” rather than human beings.
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I recently read an article where a mentally challenged teenager was taken advantage of, impregnated and abandoned but was later helped by a Good Samaritan. Even parents and family of such a person usually find it hard to associate themselves to avoid the judging eyes of society.
The best way to stop this in society is to think of the victims as one’s close sisters or daughters who you won’t want to harm in the world. Effective facilities and care should be provided with workers who are ready to commit and sign to a confidentiality agreement not to hurt or abuse the girls. I believe they also deserve a place in society and to be treated as a person also.
Adebesin Aminat, is a student of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano