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Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month

Children are the most unrepresented and powerless minorities anywhere. And a large many fall prey to the sexual appetites of adults around them. Not knowing whether what is happening with them is appropriate, seduced or coerced, pleasured or pained, they have little power to expose the crimes against them and find justice.

Often they will not be believed. They can be asked to stop talking such things about elders for the sake of family honor. Other times, their protectors are the ones abusing them. Still other times, the people who can help them are victims of that predator too, and advocate silence as safety. It takes something outrageously inhuman to grab attention. Then condemnation is swift as all disown any similarity with the criminal. There are a few days of anger, and then people move on…. Till the next gang raped child hits the news.

We have absolutely no right to talk platitudes of children being innocent and fragile, if we subject them to conditions worse than we expect for adults. Get this straight. If this is too difficult to fight, the answer is not shutting up, and leaving it to children with even less ability to fight it. The answer lies in getting our guts together and going at it with all we have, so that it doesn’t land on the fragile innocents. Be the shield for children. Because you wish someone shielded you when you needed it too.

We have no reliable data for the extent of Child Sexual Abuse in India. There are rising incidences, and a survey commissioned by the government in 2007 estimated that a mind boggling 53% of all children have suffered from CSA. This is not funny at all. What is even more unfunny is that these numbers did not ignite any change. The Cabinet passed a bill to prevent Child Sexual Abuse, but little awareness about reaches public space. It is unclear what exactly we are DOING to prevent this problem.

This status quo is unacceptable, yet we do nothing. More and more instances dot our newspapers and we keep reading them, feeling disgust and moving on.

This month, we raise awareness on Child Sexual Abuse. The different forms it can take, the factors that support it, the factors that prevent prevention and effective justice. We inform you on what you can do to monitor, prevent or report CSA. We walk you through the skills of sensitizing children on CSA and affirming their right to their autonomy in such a way that they feel empowered to be bold and report any alarm they may feel. We help you understand which of your actions will help, which may seem appropriate but aren’t. What do you do when a child tells you that they have been subjected to CSA? How can you find out more from them without causing them trauma, or influencing their words unacceptably for an investigation?

Whom can you approach for help on behalf of a child victim? What avenues are open to you in your quest for justice and a safer world?

We arm you with information, so that you may be a change agent in your world.

We expect you to keep reading, thinking, bringing up these subjects with people you know, online, at work… coming up with ideas, contributing your efforts as you are able. Let this flame become a wildfire.

Comments 4

  • Few days back I was thinking in bathroom, out of randomness, how funny it would be if the only significant influence ‘being born in a particular religion’ would have on my life is to make me target of communal violence, maybe even kill me heh. I would hardly have any idea about the concept for which I am being targetted, but ‘they’ would see me as the epitome of that concept.

    Anyways, if gods were real, people would probably follow your guideline of confining them at home and away from potential abusers. Of course that would have been the official reason. Real reason being, they couldn’t afford the gods to come out in the open and disown everything these folks do in gods’ name 😛

    And people do it cos its fun. Vandalism, hooliganism all is so much fun. The tendency was there in people right since they were kids. I had seen such kids around when a kid and totally failed to get their driving force. Kids grew up, mischiefs grew up excuses grew up. In whatever video clips or pics i have seen of acts of violence, I have seen a kind of glee on people’s faces as long as they are the ones doing the damage, not receiving it, as long as they are giving the beating, not taking it.

    Buses are burnt cos it is fun. They just need a grand excuse to hide behind. Religion, politics, economics, whatever.

  • I am completely impressed by the analogy between methods to protect Gods and prevent rapes.God rightfully belongs to golden cage and in the name of god voilence or damaging property or killings in completely unacceptable.

  • I think we are having an impaired vision of reality about belief, particularly about the colour of God which we should follow. Its just like giving colour to the ocean and fight for its rights. Before his proved identity we will exinct. So think beyond it give colours for today with the essence of all good beliefs! 

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