Abuse among children can take several forms including neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. The extent of reported sexual abuse has been alarming in our society calling for immediate action. According to a reliable survey more than 53% of the participants reported sexual abuse as children among whom only 6% were reported. It specifies that one among 2 children around us could be facing sexual abuse. We might carry a false perception that boy child is safe in our society which need not be true according to same report which points at 50% of the abuse being reported on boys. Report also noted that half of the abusers were people child already knew & trusted. This takes the veil of our belief that home & school could be the safe places for a child. Above all child does not seem to be safe right from the birth. We have the sexual abuse reported in India even on an infant as young as 10 days.
Our existing situation leaves us with only one option. Educate the child for sexual safety as soon as possible so that abuse can be prevented to great extent & reported as soon as possible so that child is relatively safe. We also need parents & teachers to be ware of abuse & abuser signs along with the knowledge about POCSO 2012, which is our child friendly law to safeguard the children against sexual abuse. It is important for teachers & parents to realize the extent of harm which could be brought up on the child due to sexual abuse so that we are swift in taking actions.We also need to have structured programs in place to rehabilitate abusers so that they are equipped to refrain from abuse once they enter the society again.
Our module for Sexual Abuse Prevention among children come with 2 parts.
First part intends to raise the awareness of parents & teachers about sexual abuse & also ensure that they have basic understanding of POCSO to prevent sexual abuse among children.
Second part focuses on different ways in which we can raise the knowledge, self-esteem & awareness of a child against sexual abuse & have him/her ready for abuse prevention starting from young age of 3-4 years.
Parents & teachers are also equipped to respond in a right way when an abuse is reported.
Abuse prevention modules can be arranged in a school or a group including children, parents & teachers.
If We Don’t Stand for Children….Then
We Don’t Stand for Much
-Marian Wright Edelman