We all must have seen or shared cute videos of babies laughing or smiling through whatsapp or any other social media platform. There are some accounts who focus on posting and sharing cute innocent videos of children. And we all seem to love them, they always put a smile on our face. We all love spending time with our young siblings, or cousins, or perhaps the children of our cousins/friends, or it could be your own. These innocent children are so full of life, always curious to learn about more things, playing, laughing, enjoying, and often uplifting our own moods as well. I’m sure by now you must have imagined a child that you love spending time with. We want to protect them from all dangers and harms.
Now imagine the same child, it could be your cousin, your nephew, niece, your friend’s kid, your neighbour’s child, or your own. Imagine that child being horrified and not being his/her usual cheerful, happy, bubbly self because someone took advantage of that child’s trust or innocence. How would you feel? Even the thought of something wrong happening to them scares us, and causes uneasiness. Would you not want the abuser to be punished? Of course, you would do anything in your power to make sure that the abuser gets punished for the crime s/he did. No one, no child should ever experience this. No child must ever become a victim like this. No child must become prey to such horrible people. No child should ever live in fear. Every child must live happily and safely. And if such an incident happens, then no child should ever blame himself or herself because this was not his/her fault. If such an incident happens, then the child deserves justice, the abuser must be punished regardless of who s/he is and what position or authority s/he holds. Every child deserves justice, every child deserves a safe childhood, whether s/he is related to you or not.
One in five women and one in thirteen men report having been sexually abused as a child ( source: WHO ) This ratio must be decreased. No child must ever have to face something like this. This is why we all must educate children first of all about good touch and bad touch. Then we must tell them that if someone touches them badly they need to shout, scream no as highly as they can, and run away from the person to a safe place, to an elder they feel safe with like for example their mother. Once they are safe they must tell them everything that happened without feeling ashamed or guilty. It’s not their fault that something like this happened to them. They haven’t done something wrong. We must educate the children and teach them not to hide if such a thing happens. We must talk to children on a daily basis in a friendly manner such that they are comfortable talking about how their day went and who all they interact with, how they interact with each other and other such things. Also, at the same time we must help create awareness about this issue in the society that we live in. Just teaching the children in our families isn’t enough. We must participate in campaigns, marches and other activities to help spread awareness about this issue. It is our duty as youngsters and adults to ensure that we create a safe environment for these innocent children.