“When you feel caught in the web of childhood abuse, find words to describe it. Write to them. Say them. Express them. In safe places, with safe people.” – Jeanne McElvaney, Author of Childhood Abuse: Tips To Change Child Abuse Effects
Today, as a champion for Our Voix, I went to Karol Bagh to assist in conducting a workshop for children who were from nursery to 8th standard. Our Voix is a non-profit organisation (NPO) works for prevention of child sexual abuse. The founder of this organisation is Megha Bhatia. It provides free workshops to small children in primary classes from 1st grade to 6th grades.
Initially, the children were very excited when we started talking to them. We started our workshop by playing games like ‘Ulta Pulta’. The next activity started by showing pictures of body parts. Some children didn’t know about their private body parts. We used words such as “chati, pichwada, tango k beech ka ang” as we showed pictures of good touch and bad touch.
Children were curious to know what they can do when someone touches their private body parts. We received responses such as maar denge, laat marenge (We’ll hit them, kick them). We taught them that they should run to a safe place, like home and tell this incidence to parents or a trustworthy person. And if nobody listens to them they can call on the child helpline number i.e.1098.
Children quickly learned about bad touch and private body parts. However, they believed that their peers can’t sexually abuse them. Also, girls think that girls can’t sexually abuse other girls and boys think that boys can’t abuse other boys because they have the same body parts. We taught children that their peers, whether it is a girl or a boy, anyone can be a perpetrator of sexual abuse.
To have a better understanding one should know the meaning of child sexual abuse (CSA). Child sexual abuse is when a person involves a child in sexual activities with or without touch such as touching their private body parts or showing them pornographic content or inappropriate videos.
Moreover, according to latest crime records bureau data of 2016, around 13% of underage female victims were of age 11 and below. In 94.6% of the rape cases reported in 2016, the offenders were known to the victims. Our mission is to spread awareness on prevention of child sexual abuse. We are together working on making childhood a safe place, again!