Protecting Children Against Sexual Abuse

Updated: May 20, 2021

Parents and family members often warn their kids to beware of unknown people outside, but they are never told that sometimes those whom they already know can torment them too. According to the National Crime Record Bureau, 109 children are sexually abused every day in India and 90% of these are exploited by their relatives or someone in the position of trust and responsibility.

Here are few terrible facts about this crime:

  • Molesters can be anyone. They can pretend to be very affectionate; so that they can win the confidence of the child and the respective family.

  • It will be hard to swallow that 30% of kids are exploited by their family members.

  • The perpetrator mostly threatens the child to not disclose it to anyone and keep it secret; that's why 60% of kids never unfold that they are being sexually abused.

  • Girls are more prone to CSA than boys.

  • Juveniles (those under 18) are found guilty in many cases and they mostly target children under 6.

  • The victims of this crime can suffer from depression and anxiety for a long duration in life. Sometimes they even try to harm themselves and attempt suicide. This enormous mental anguish can push them further towards the consumption of drugs and alcohol.

  • These crimes are reported less, because of social stigma and family reputation.

My purpose is not to make your blood cold but to acquaint you with reality. The question here is how to save kids from this heinous crime.

Here are some safety measures which can help to reduce it:

  • Make children aware of their body parts and tell them that some of them are private. Hence it is unacceptable if someone touches them and asks to touch their private parts. If they face such a situation, they should say no to this and tell their parents directly about it.

  • Take interest in your kids' life, ask them about their day, what they did, whom they met, who gave an unacceptable touch to them or crossed body boundaries. These conversations will be advantageous for both parents as well as children.

  • Get to know the people in your child's life, the family members of their friends, their tutor, coach, school bus driver & conductor. Be aware of each person who comes in contact with your kids.

  • Don't ignore any indicators like bleeding and swelling in genital areas and a sudden change in kids' behaviour like sadness, locking oneself in a room, sudden fall in the school grades, nightmares, etc.

  • Prepare them to deal with this sort of awkward situation. For example, if something like this happens, they can tell that they have to go to the washroom immediately or they can shout.

  • Try not to leave your children alone. Always keep them in front of your eyes. In case you are working and you have a caretaker at home, install cameras, so that you can keep an eye on them.

  • Unfortunately, if something like this happens, make your child believe that it is not their fault and take the help of a child counsellor.

In a nutshell, don't trust people easily as it's a matter of your child's safety. If we become a bit open to discuss this topic, we can surely reduce the number of CSA incidents.

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