Nothing is safe for our children anymore .Our streets, schools or homes. The mere thought of a child’s vulnerability being taken advantage of breaks any sane person. Can you comprehend the extent of emotional and physical trauma a child undergoes due to this? Childhood, which is supposed to be the happiest time of their lives, is nothing but a black hole to them, sucking out all of their mental peace.
You and I, we can make a difference. All we need to do is talk. Explain the sad reality of the world they are living in.
Ashwini N V, the founder of Muktha Foundation, has laid down six cautions.
- ‘Look’ Caution:This caution helps children to be aware that Voyeurism, Exhibitionism, Making Children Watch Pornography, and other behaviors where the sexual abuse involves ‘seeing’ must be reported.
- ‘Hear’ Caution:This caution helps children to be aware that speaking in a vulgar manner directly or over phone, telling a child ‘I am going to touch you’ (Not necessarily doing it), pressurizing a child to touch him/her verbally must also be reported.
- ‘Touch’ Caution:Here a child must be encouraged to report not just when touched in the private parts, but also mostly when touched unnecessarily and when nobody seems to be around. Is it okay if an abuser touches the child’s stomach or the under arms.
- ‘Hold’ Caution: This involves hugging, making the child sit on the lap, or could range to penetrative sexual activity.
- ‘Alone’ Caution : This refers to encouraging a child to be in circumstances where the child is alone or seeking information regarding when the child is alone
- ‘Space’ Caution:Getting very close to children despite a lot of space around. This can act as a precursor to a possible abuse.
Let us also not worry that if they know these ‘6-Cautions’, their ‘innocence’ is lost. What innocence are we talking about? Is keeping children uninformed regarding the many shades of child sexual abuse a way to protect their ‘Innocence’? Awareness is empowering, when promoted through dialogue. Children must be aware of everything that concerns them. We would probably be amazed what children can bring to the table when given safe space to voice out their feelings and thoughts.
Let’s raise children that don’t need to recover from their childhoods.
Picture for representation purposes only