It was just another regular day. She had gone to a Watch shop to get the strap of her watch replaced. While the shopkeeper was doing the needful, she was looking around idly.
Just then a 10-12 year old girl in a school uniform walked in with a 25-26 year old man. This man had his arm around her and was holding her too close. She found something very disturbing about this guy as soon as she saw him. She pondered for a few seconds and saw what was bugging her, it was his sly smile which was plastered all over his face.
The girl was laughing a lot and was at ease with him, so he must be known to her. Next, she heard this guy asking the little one to select any watch she fancied and he clearly steered her to the showcase which had inexpensive plastic watches.
While the girl looked at the watches with a grin on her face, this man stood just behind her… rather too close and all the while caressing her arms. He was thoroughly enjoying whatever he was doing.
The girl oblivious to his sinister thoughts and actions was busy looking at the goodies. This whole scene shocked and repulsed her and she just couldn’t take her eyes off them.
She left the shop soon after but with highly agitated and disturbed emotions, thoughts and questions buzzing in her head… she just hoped… that she was completely wrong and the man and the lil’ girl shared a perfect healthy relationship… that the family could know of the guy’s bad intentions before anything happened to the kid… and that nothing wrong ever happened to that girl.
She also wondered… could she have done something at that point of time? May be said something to that girl or to that sick man? Or voiced her fear to the shopkeeper?? She also wondered, if all that would have resulted in something, but it sure makes her feel guilty still. This incident made her paranoid and vigilant about Child Sexual Abuse. It made her realize that silence is not golden always! Her silence will not protect the kids around…
Child Sexual Abuse is a serious crime that must be prevented and must never happen to any child, ever.
Child Sexual Abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year, but the number of unreported instances is far greater, because the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened and mostly they are confused about it. The long-term emotional and psychological damage of sexual abuse can be devastating to the child.
I read on a website here, about the 5 steps to protecting our children from abuse :
- Know the facts. People who abuse children look and act just like every one else. In fact, they often go out of their way to appear trustworthy, seeking out settings where they can gain easy access to children.
- Minimise opportunity. If you eliminate or reduce isolated, one-on-one situations between children and adults, and children and other youth, you’ll dramatically reduce the risk of sexual abuse.
- Talk about it. Children often keep abuse a secret, but barriers can be broken down by talking openly about our bodies, sex, and boundaries.
- Recognise the signs. Don’t expect obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused. Signs are often there, but you have to know what to look for.
- React responsibly. Disclosure, discover, and suspicions of sexual abuse provide opportunities to intervene on behalf of a child.
Though there are a lot of resources on the web which share a lot of information about how to prevent and deal with CSA. I found this one to be pretty simple and comprehensive. Please check it out.
UNICEF India has recently concluded The #ENDViolence Campaign – a social media campaign to target online audiences. To amplify the impact of the initiative, there offline media outreach, blogger involvement, and celebrity and civil society engagement was also included.
Read the UNICEF India to get more information. Follow UNICEF India on Facebook here.
Make a difference for our children : Spread the word and help put a stop to CSA #ENDViolence.