Child Sexual Abuse by Varsha Verma

As a part of activity 3 of volunteer program, I spoke to my friends (all aged 19-21) regarding their experiences of child sexual abuse. I spoke to 10 people. Out of them, 8 had faced some form of sexual abuse. Out of these 8 cases, in 5 of the cases perpetrator was known to them. Following are my inferences from this small research:
• In none of the cases the incident was reported. There are many reasons for this-
1) Children don’t have a trustworthy relationship with their parents. They fear being blamed for the abuse and hence, don’t even consider it as an option.
2) Children are most of the times not aware that what they are going through is an abuse and they are not at fault.
3) If the perpetrator is a family member, children are fearful of the fights and breaking up of family.
• Even today, there is a lack of awareness among people regarding the magnitude of the problem of child sexual abuse. Some even think that what happened to them was ‘not so severe’.
• Most of the abusers think that they are ‘entitled’ to children’s bodies. They feel powerful by indulging in such crimes. This sort of thinking is ingrained in their mindset.
• Children don’t get the kind of support they need. When I asked one of my friends that how did she deal with it, she told me no one has ever asked her that!
There is a dire need to protect our children. Parents should build a trustworthy relationship with their children. Continuous surveillance of their actions is not advisable and proves to be counter-productive. What is required is a conversation-based relationship where talking about uneasy topics is not a taboo. Children should be made aware of what constitutes an abuse and that IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT.
At last, I would just like to say that- Be the humming bird! Change starts from you.

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