Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is a pressing human rights issue and a public health concern. As per the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, CSA includes an array of sexual activities like fondling, inviting a child to touch or be touched sexually, intercourse, exhibitionism, involving a child in prostitution or pornography, or online child luring by cyber-predators.
The number of cases registered for child abuse raised from 8,904 in the year 2014 to 14,913 in the year 2015. It’s an alarming statistic.
To curb this evil, for the first time, the Raabta Foundation and Dar-e-Arqam, with the support of Rafai Computers and the ENA Foundation, initiated the CSA Awareness Campaign in Kondhwa, Pune.
Kondhwa is a hub of schools and Madrasas, which has a huge strength of children who belong to the lower socioeconomic background. Discussing sexual abuse and sexuality is still considered a taboo in our society.
People are not comfortable talking about child sexual abuse due to various misconceptions. It must be discussed, as it’s a lack of awareness that leads to an increase in such cases of abuse. If people are aware, they will follow the procedure to report abuse and will try to create awareness regarding the same. Hence, awareness must reach schools and madrasas.
Zaid Sayed from the Raabta Foundation conducted the session and shared knowledge regarding child rights, protection and child sexual abuse through a pictorial presentation and videos. The president of Raabta Foundation, Mr Saeed Ahmed shared how personality plays an important role in the protection of children from all kinds of abuse. Founder President of Dare Arqam, Mr Qudratullah played a key role in the campaign as he agreed that it is an issue; he organised the first session in his own school.
In the coming days, the Raabta Foundation and Dare Arqam are planning more such sessions in slums, schools, and madrasas to create awareness and to protect children from such heinous crimes and abuses.
If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at email@example.com. You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.