Empowering Children for Personal Safety

A freelancer came for the Arpan training program with the mindset that the training will equip her to teach children about protecting themselves from potential sexual abuse. After the programme she realized that while she achieved that, what the CSA Train-the-Trainer program really helped her to do is to discover her own biases and assumptions about right and wrong and also understand the ground realities. It also became abundantly clear to her that given the incredibly high rate of incidence of Child Sexual Abuse in our society, a scattered handful of adults acting as trainers or even counsellors will hardly be enough to tackle this national scourge. She felt strongly that the need is to create enough leverage against CSA by bringing in parents, teachers, community helpers and other caregivers into the fold, while also empowering children and building their sense of self-esteem so they don’t feel like helpless survivors. She also opined that CSA is not a Bharat vs. an India problem, it is not a rural vs. an urban problem, or a problem of the rich vs. of the poor and realized that it is our problem and unless we begin looking it in the face and fighting back – we will be raising a generation where perhaps more than half of the adults have to live with the trauma of being abused when they were most vulnerable.

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