Creating Awareness on Child Abuse
How to talk to kids about child (sexual) abuse and ways to help prevent it!
Child abuse is a heart-breaking issue, but many believe it’s not something that could happen to anyone they know or love. But it is not true. In the first place child abuse is real and happens everywhere—in homes, schools, families and even somewhere in your very own neighbourhood. But the bitter truth is only a fraction of cases is reported. Yes, there are so many untold stories! This is because talking about child abuse continues to be a taboo in India. The silence is due to the fear of disgrace, social stigma and denial by the community.
What is child abuse? It is any type of mistreatment to a child. Child abuse is not just limited to beating but even emotional and sexual. This horrendous act can adversely affect the normal development of a child impairing their mental, physical and social wellbeing. In certain extreme cases, it can even lead to death.
Here is an unsavoury fact! CRY report says that every 15 minutes, a child is subjected to sexual abuse in India. Quite alarming isn’t it! No wonder, every day in the newspaper there is at least a single article which talks about child abuse. Has there been an alarming rise in the sexual abuse of children in the recent times or is it that more cases are coming to light? Whatever it is the need of the hour is to put an end to this. Child abuse is a vice we can no longer condone! Let us in some way help children break out of their abusive lifestyle and enjoy their childhood just the way it has to be. Here are some of the ways in which we can help children.
Essential tips for parents to educate their kids about child abuse:
1. Awareness is power. So make sure to create opportunities to explain what a good touch is and what is not. Talk causally and initiate the ‘touch-talk’. Hug your child and explain that a hug from mommy is a good touch and that it why it feels good.
2. Kids are smart enough. They understand things if you convey it in the right way. It is that we parents baby talk them to understand the world differently. Speak to them and make them understand that certain body parts are private. In this way, your child at the age of five will understand that certain body parts are private and that they need to safeguard.
3. Tell your child that the parts that their undergarments cover are those that nobody is allowed to touch. Not even you. This helps your child understand what a good touch and bad touch is from the perspective of their body parts.
4. Tell your child to shout at the top of their voice amidst strangers who give your child odd vibes. Teach your child to scream and shout loudly when they are around someone whom they are not comfortable with. Yes, we parents teach our kids to be polite and well-mannered especially in front of strangers. But it is the other way around when the stranger doesn’t treat your child the right way.
5. Don’t force children to hug or touch even the feet of elders or relatives who come home. This is not rude behaviour or being impolite, but something to avoid unnecessary touch.
Childhood is supposed to be the happiest time of one’s lives. Don’t let child abuse ruin a child’s life. Create awareness. Let’s begin at home! Make your child aware of what is right and what is wrong. Educating your child is important, it’s a necessity too. So start educating your child about this issue. This is the only good thing and something that will help to reduce the amount of child abuse that is rampant in our society these days!