Creating Awareness about Child Sexual Abuse

Naina Jha is the Program and Outreach Officer at Patna. She is a PR professional working with Greymatters Communications. She has worked with hospitals, advertising and PR agencies and has been working with ICWA to educate slum kids since 2005. She has also worked as a freelancer with Gender Resource Centre, Patna. She loves working for the uplifting of slum children and gender sensitisation and wishes to make this society a better place to live in. She is a budding writer, avid learner, traveller, and a happy soul. A sociology graduate who holds a masters degree in human resources, she has a few more degrees up her sleeves but most importantly she is a mother to a beatific little angel.

Creating Awareness about Child Sexual Abuse

Naina Jha conducted a workshop on ‘Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO)’ for 26 students  from Std VIth to Xth at Inter College Women’s Association (ICWA) in Patna on 13th July, 2017. She writes,

ICWA is an NGO working towards education for slum children and women. It trains students and helps them get admitted in various schools while also taking care of their educational expenses. Most of the students come from unprivileged backgrounds where nobody talks about such matters openly.

After a round of introductions, I began to speak to them about safe and unsafe touch. When I asked them what their perceptions of safe and unsafe touches were, a girl named Pooja said that unsafe touch was when we push, hurt or beat someone. If our touch wasn’t hurtful, it was a safe touch. The class began agreeing with her, so I explained the real difference between the touches with the help of an example of a stranger touching them but not hurting them to which they all realised what an unsafe touch was. I explained that any touch which made them feel uncomfortable or dirty was an unsafe touch. I showed them a video about Komal which explained Child Sexual Abuse in a way that children can understand. To check their comprehension, I asked them few questions which they answered correctly.

We then on to listing down ‘trusted adults’. Most of the girls wrote down their mother as their trusted adult. When I enquired why they hadn’t written down their father’s names a girl said they couldn’t share certain things with their fathers. When asked for an example she said they couldn’t tell their father if someone hooted at them or passed dirty comments on their way to school out of fear that they would be stopped from going to school. I told them it would be important to share such experiences with both their parents as it would help win their parent’s trust and protect them better.

I told them a story about a little girl named Deepa who was being abused by her elder cousin brother, Dilip. Her mother thought he was fond of Deepa due to which she used to leave Deep in his care. Dilip began harassing and abusing her and warned her not to tell anyone about it. This affected Deepa, making her feel guilty and girl and also affected her physically and academically. On finishing with the story, I asked them a few questions related to it. 

After the session they were able to understand and recognize abuse, bribes, threats, secrets. They learned how abuse can affect them, how to protect themselves from abuse and whom to approach if something were to happen to them. I also encouraged them to report and complain about the abusive person to the parent/trusted adult or reach out to the child helpline. By doing so, they would not help just themselves but also protect others from being harassed or abused. The highlight of the session was when every student promised to share their learning with their parents and especially, their friends, to create awareness about the same.”

 

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