Earlier this year, I wrote a blog on Child Abuse, following our January 2015 Cover Story on the same theme. I think too much cannot be said on this topic, and every parent today will agree with me. We hear so much in the news, around us, about child abuse that we constantly fear for the safety of our children. There is a lot that we, as parents, can do to protect our children against abuse, and more importantly, empower them against it.
And because awareness is really the first step in protecting and empowering your children, we have organised an online Ask the Expert session for you. Log on to http://parentedge.in/parenting-forum/#scrollback on 17 May, Sunday at 11:30am and join the discussion with other parents, led by Expert Ratnesh Mathur, Founder of amable. amable organises workshops for parents, teachers and children on child abuse and child safety. You can ask Ratnesh all the queries that you have on this topic and swap ideas and tips with other concerned parents like you. Invite your friends and family members to join in as well!
I encourage you to pick up a copy of our January issue and read our article, which has some important pointers from experts and parents, and also tips and myth-busters. You can also re-read the blog I wrote at the beginning of the year: Your Child is Vulnerable: Protect Him/Her from Abuse.
I reiterate some important messages here:
– A 2007 survey by the Indian Ministry of Women and Child Development found that:
- More than 53% of the children surveyed had faced some form of abuse; of this 52% were boys and 47% girls
- 50% of the abusers were known to the child, and were people in positions of trust and responsibility
- Most children did not report the matter to anyone
– Most child abuse happens within the home, in a familiar environment, by a person who is known and trusted by the family.
– Grooming is the insidious process by which an abuser builds an apparently friendly relationship with his victim.
– Don’t encourage children to stay silent about abuse. Why do children remain silent about abuse? Because they are often scared of adults and believe that they will be scolded for exposing an abuser, or even blamed for the abuse—and abusers play on this very fear and convince them to keep quiet. Abuse is not the child’s fault!
Myth: CSA occurs mostly in poor and illiterate families.