Was browsing through posts on my wall on facebook today and came across a post on how a School Van Driver physically abused a 3 year old boy along with Aaya(Nurse) and how they threatened him not to discuss about this with anyone. On reading the post there was a storm of emotions within me. I was boiling with anger against the driver and full of sympathy for the child and his family members.
Every day on flipping through the pages of newspaper or watching any news channel we come across incidents of child abuse or molestation somewhere in the country. This is something very depressing and we all should try our best to educate our child and ourselves as well to avoid such situation. In this article I am sharing few ideas, which I believe every parent should be aware of and also try to educate the child regarding the same to avoid any such untoward incidents.
So what do we mean by child abuse? When a child is intentionally harmed physically, psychologically, sexually, or by acts of neglect, the crime is known as child abuse. Please note child abuse is not about physical contact alone, it comprises of other components as well. Being from an Indian society, we as parents tend to run away from discussing sexual matters with kids. However it is of significant importance to sensitize the kids regarding such matters. The kids start attending playschools at the tender age of 2 or 3 years nowadays, they don’t know anything about what’s right and what’s wrong. So we need to tell our kids about what’s wrong and what’s right.
First thing regarding educating your child is to tell them about the touches i.e. appropriate touch and inappropriate touch. Every parent should sensitize the child regarding sensitive areas which should not be touched by anyone. By anyone I mean anyone including close relatives, friends, siblings’ teachers. Secondly, if anyone touches the child inappropriately they should be told to say out loudly not to touch them. If the child is aware that no one is allowed to touch their private parts, there are high chances that the moment anyone does that, the child might walkout or say out loudly that please don’t touch me. If the child voices out these words, then who so ever is doing it will immediately withdraw and refrain from repeating this heinous act.
As a parent one should always talk to the child after his/her school on regular basis. It may start with “How was your day at the school?”, “Did you enjoy during playtime?”, “What did you study today?”, “Who all are your friends?” and many such questions about which the child is comfortable in answering and gets into conversation with you. Once the child has your attention then start asking specific questions like “Is there someone who cares more about you?” or “Someone who takes you aside and talks?” or “Someone who tries to touch you very often?” answers to such questions will give you an idea of what you want to know and accordingly you can further drill down. Here you should also ensure to communicate to the child that they are not in trouble. The questions you are asking is just because of your concern for the child.
If at all there is a situation where you feel that someone is trying to take advantage of your child you should always stand for the child. You should tell your child that you are going to talk to the concerned person and take action against them. Maybe he/she is someone close or powerful person but still you should go and talk. This act of yours will also instill confidence in your child that you are always by his/her side no matter what. If you stay quiet or try to keep your child quiet on such matters the child will lose confidence in you and maybe again he/she might not share anything with you thinking that you won’t support again.
Basically I think that talking is the key to get information out of your child. It cannot be a one day affair; it should be a daily ritual to talk to your child regarding anything and everything. Five minutes of your time with your child regarding daily activities of your child will solve many of the issues child faces on daily basis. This will also help you to create a bond with the child wherein the child and parent both will be comfortable talking to each other on any matter.
The above article just gives few of the ways to avoid such tricky situation. There is no thumb rule for such cases. There can be many other things which can be done to avoid such situations and I would request all the readers to add the same in the comment section so that everyone gets benefited with your ideas.