Some of us may know girls who have sponsors or older men that give them money and gifts.
From where you stand, it can seem like these girls are enjoying life, but you can never be sure of the real story.
You should be very careful about accepting money and gifts. The man might want something in return:
- He could pressure you for sex
- He could force you to do something risky such as running away from home with him, prostitution, etc.
- He could try to control you by saying he will stop giving you gifts if you don’t do what he says
Not every older man who offers you a gift plans to harm you. For example, Aisha’s uncle pays for her school fees. He gives the money to Aisha’s mother. He doesn’t ask Aisha for anything or make her feel uncomfortable.
Below are some tips to help you identify harmful sponsors
If an older man offers you gifts or money, tell a trusted adult. If the man has no bad intentions, he will not mind. If the man asks you not to tell anyone, you should be very careful.
If he always wants to meet with you secretly. Never meet with him alone. Insist he meets your mother or a trusted adult and give her the money instead like Aisha’s uncle does.
If he is always asking for something in exchange: a sponsor who wants to help you will not demand favours from you in exchange.
If the way he looks at you or touches you makes you feel uncomfortable, it is important you tell a trusted adult immediately.
Make sure you share this with your friends so that they can stay safe too.