NAGPUR: Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) had always been there and continues to exist both at home and institutions. But the bias towards the issue in society has always kept it under the carpet. It is only talked about and dealt with by a few dedicated NGOs like Mumbai-based Arpan, the biggest organization working exclusively towards prevention of CSA and intervention wherever possible.
Children unbelievably are sexually abused mostly by persons within the family, neighbours or friends as for these persons access to children is easy. “Children are known to be abused mostly by people who they trust most or who are known to them. Winning confidence of children who are related or are available around is always easier. Though boys are more vulnerable compared to girls, in our society boys are never told by mothers or parents about possibility of sexual abuse as they can never imagine that it is something that can happen to males,” said an Arpan worker Mithila Rao speaking to TOI.
Rao was in the city for a two-day trainers’ programme organized by Matru Sewa Sangh Institute of Social Work (MSSISW) on CSA. She tells the organization works on the entire spectrum of abuses but concentrates more on disclosure of abuse by the child followed by handling the child. “We are still not into any legal intervention as our focus is on prevention by educating all those dealing with children like teachers, social workers, counsellors etc. In fact despite new laws like the POSCO 2012 even the police are not aware of the law and its use,” she added.
Rao’s colleague Chinar Banvalkar, both of who were resource persons for MSSISW, trained Childline and Varadaan, (NGOs associated with the institute) members in various aspects of the issue ranging from understanding sexual abuse, the process, trauma the affected child undergoes, types of sexual abuse, how to deal with such children and methods to identify children possibly under CSA by way of certain indicative behaviours. “Though the percentage of women sex abusers who abuse children of either sex is low, they are definitely involved in CSA,” she said.
Society is so conditioned to the subject that no one wants to discuss it. MSSISW principal John Menachery sees school as one of the best places where victims of CSA could be identified as well as helped. Schools are supposed to be the safest places for children but they are mostly abused by persons who drop them to school or come in contact with them regularly like the housemaids or drivers or auto-rickshaw drivers. “If teachers in schools, even if a small lot, are aware of the gravity and type of sexual abuse, they can help reducing the trauma in children. Children may hesitate to share it with parents but they do always share many things with certain teachers. They can be sensitized in dealing with such children or in fact not handling such children in certain ways which might add to the trauma,” he said. Menachery categorically states that children in various institutions like protection homes, remand homes etc are the most exposed to CSA and expects that people handling these care-giving institutions are more sensitized towards the issue.
Source: Times of India