With every one in ten children getting sexually abused at any one point in time and 90% of the perpetrators being those known to the child, child sexual abuse is the hidden reality of our country.
It is time for our discussions to move beyond safe and unsafe touch and it is time for us, the people, to make their contribution towards prevention, social and legal awareness, rehabilitation, psychological impact and treatment options related to child sexual abuse.
Keeping this aim in mind Sahayam Intervention Centre, organised a free workshop on child sexual abuse. The workshop was attended by a diverse audience comprising of teachers, counselors, students and social workers.
The workshop began with a heart-wrenching story of a village child who was abused and went on to clarify and define child sexual abuse and debunking the various social and cultural myths associated with it. Considerable stress was laid on discussing the psychological impact of sexual abuse on children and the importance of intervention from a mental health professional. The POCSO Act(2012) was discussed at length to understand the responsibility of various stakeholders. The workshop was finally concluded with an oath and brainstorming about the steps that the audience can take to tackle the problem of child sexual abuse.
The workshop was interspersed with questions and doubts which were welcomed and answered by the presenters. Sahayam hopes and aims to conduct many such workshops in education institutions, corporate sector and NGOs to make its contribution for a safer and nurturing environment for children.