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CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE – A MATTER OF CONCERN

Posted on 07 May 2010 by admin

AIHRA News, Saturday 08 May, 2010.
New Delhi, Sexual abuse is one of the darker aspects of childhood and it has remained largely unrecorded because the very idea of sexual abuse tends to be unthinkable. The secret has been safe because children have either not told or not been believed, or they have told in a way that has not been comprehended”. Harper
“An eight-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by two men in North Delhi. She was allegedly kidnaped by the assailants from outside the newly-opened Congress office in Shastri Park area.” …..goes the front page story. On the other hand, – “A young starving girl of eleven, was found in the slum area of Gautampuri by the volunteers of ARPANA TRUST (a non-governmental organization established in India 1965 by Revered Ma). When the volunteers approached and convinced her that she was safe in their hands, she gathered courage and broke here silence. She revealed that her own unemployed drunkard father, had been torturing her physically and sexually since three months, whereas her step-mother had been maltreating her at the same time and they are very poor. Hence, she had left home out of great fear and distress. “These are only two of the many cases of child sexual abuse that take place in almost all races, cultures and strata of society, quite often.
It is a matter of agony that children with sexual abuse cannot be easily detected. Child sexual abuse is either under reported or not reported because of its delicacy and stigma. Talking about sex or sexual abuse is considered as “bad” in majority of the communities in India. Since 80 per cent of the child sexual abuse take place in the family context, the family members prevent the child announcing the name of the abuser. The abusers are usually known persons to the child a family friend, close relative, neighbor, cousion, brother-in-law, stepfather and even father. As per Family Planning Association of India, at least 2 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys are victims of child sexual abuse.
Child abuse, as pronounced is defined as maltreatment of children. It may be physical abuse in terms of beating, kicking, branding and other kinds of corporal punishments, or it may be emotional abuse in terms of hurting one’s feelings by scolding, humiliating, emotional black mailing etc, taking advantage of tender age and feelings of child or it may be sexual abuse which varies from mild forms of sexual abuse (like looking sexually at them using words to arouse them sexually, pornography etc.) to founding, kissing, molestation and serious like rape.
“Children are our future” – a commonly uttered verse. But, how far is this saying truly realized? – is the very question which we need to ask ourselves. Children even today are not treated as individual human beings, rather they are used as objects of pleasure, pain, frustration, fame, reputation, jealousy, wealth, ego, anger, envy, image, so on and so forth.
Though everyday, thousands of children are sexually abused in India and the incidents are kept secret and buried into the conscious and subconscious negation of this reality, recent survey has brought out the ugly faces of child abuse in India. According to VHAI (Voluntary  Health Association of India, Delhi), “a sexually abused child suffers four times-at the time of the offence, while narrating the incident, during medical examination and finally when the child faces the courts.” Statistics say that since sex, as a subject is a taboo, and commonly held notions of so-called ‘izzat’ are very strongly ingrained, girls and boys who are being sexually victimized, feel inhibited and find it difficult to talk about the problems encountered by them.
Hence, it is a matter of serious concern that children are given necessary protection and support in order to have a bright future. This can only happen it, noble thoughts on child raising and upbringing with the sense of responsibility are ingrained in the parents, teachers, elders, etc through proper education, beyond literature given in black and white. The only effective and time giving factor or medium by which the education on child raising can be imparted to the people is the MEDIA.
But, it is seen in films and serials that Violence fighting and sexual abuse of serious nature are depicted and telecast in a glorified fashion, which should be prevented. Rather, the media can and should take steps or initiative in educating the public by depicting instances about the need to protect and care for children before and after they fall prey to sexual abuse of any kind. To prevent child sexual abuse, all concerned prisons including parents, teachers, relatives and friends should unite together in every possible way to fight out this “social evil” and help the children grow mentally, physically, socially and spiritually healthy for a better and bright future ahead. So, let us begin this task of helping children grow rightfully, from our own home and reach out to the outside environment with open arms and positive attitude, because – OUR FUTURE LIES IN THE PRESENT OF OUR CHILDREN.

Sexual abuse is one of the darker aspects of childhood and it has remained largely unrecorded because the very idea of sexual abuse tends to be unthinkable. The secret has been safe because children have either not told or not been believed, or they have told in a way that has not been comprehended”. Harper “An eight-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by two men in North Delhi. She was allegedly kidnaped by the assailants from outside the newly-opened Congress office in Shastri Park area.” …..goes the front page story. On the other hand, – “A young starving girl of eleven, was found in the slum area of Gautampuri by the volunteers of ARPANA TRUST (a non-governmental organization established in India 1965 by Revered Ma). When the volunteers approached and convinced her that she was safe in their hands, she gathered courage and broke here silence. She revealed that her own unemployed drunkard father, had been torturing her physically and sexually since three months, whereas her step-mother had been maltreating her at the same time and they are very poor. Hence, she had left home out of great fear and distress. “These are only two of the many cases of child sexual abuse that take place in almost all races, cultures and strata of society, quite often.  It is a matter of agony that children with sexual abuse cannot be easily detected. Child sexual abuse is either under reported or not reported because of its delicacy and stigma. Talking about sex or sexual abuse is considered as “bad” in majority of the communities in India. Since 80 per cent of the child sexual abuse take place in the family context, the family members prevent the child announcing the name of the abuser. The abusers are usually known persons to the child a family friend, close relative, neighbor, cousion, brother-in-law, stepfather and even father. As per Family Planning Association of India, at least 2 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys are victims of child sexual abuse.  Child abuse, as pronounced is defined as maltreatment of children. It may be physical abuse in terms of beating, kicking, branding and other kinds of corporal punishments, or it may be emotional abuse in terms of hurting one’s feelings by scolding, humiliating, emotional black mailing etc, taking advantage of tender age and feelings of child or it may be sexual abuse which varies from mild forms of sexual abuse (like looking sexually at them using words to arouse them sexually, pornography etc.) to founding, kissing, molestation and serious like rape.  “Children are our future” – a commonly uttered verse. But, how far is this saying truly realized? – is the very question which we need to ask ourselves. Children even today are not treated as individual human beings, rather they are used as objects of pleasure, pain, frustration, fame, reputation, jealousy, wealth, ego, anger, envy, image, so on and so forth.  Though everyday, thousands of children are sexually abused in India and the incidents are kept secret and buried into the conscious and subconscious negation of this reality, recent survey has brought out the ugly faces of child abuse in India. According to VHAI (Voluntary  Health Association of India, Delhi), “a sexually abused child suffers four times-at the time of the offence, while narrating the incident, during medical examination and finally when the child faces the courts.” Statistics say that since sex, as a subject is a taboo, and commonly held notions of so-called ‘izzat’ are very strongly ingrained, girls and boys who are being sexually victimized, feel inhibited and find it difficult to talk about the problems encountered by them.  Hence, it is a matter of serious concern that children are given necessary protection and support in order to have a bright future. This can only happen it, noble thoughts on child raising and upbringing with the sense of responsibility are ingrained in the parents, teachers, elders, etc through proper education, beyond literature given in black and white. The only effective and time giving factor or medium by which the education on child raising can be imparted to the people is the MEDIA. But, it is seen in films and serials that Violence fighting and sexual abuse of serious nature are depicted and telecast in a glorified fashion, which should be prevented. Rather, the media can and should take steps or initiative in educating the public by depicting instances about the need to protect and care for children before and after they fall prey to sexual abuse of any kind. To prevent child sexual abuse, all concerned prisons including parents, teachers, relatives and friends should unite together in every possible way to fight out this “social evil” and help the children grow mentally, physically, socially and spiritually healthy for a better and bright future ahead. So, let us begin this task of helping children grow rightfully, from our own home and reach out to the outside environment with open arms and positive attitude, because – OUR FUTURE LIES IN THE PRESENT OF OUR CHILDREN.

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