53% of children in India face some sort of child abuse but sadly only a few gather the courage to speak about the act. Many dump the situation in the name of the reputation of the family. Child Abuse has become a major concern all over the world and there is an urgent need to create awareness as it has become a challenge faced by the country.
IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING ABOUT BODIES
Kids between the age of 7-13 years are more prone to child abuse, some Pedophiles attack some infants too so awareness has to be prescribed when kids start understanding our words and actions.
It is essential to teach kids that their bodies are their private property and that it’s important to keep them safe. We must educate our kids about various kinds of touch he/she may experience. A good touch is a comfortable touch and bad touch is uncomfortable to touch.
- A good touch is hugging, high fives, shaking hands, kissing on the forehead, and /or holding hands which ensures safety and protection.
- We should also teach them that touching private parts (in case they are hurt) by doctors under the supervision of parents is okay.
We can follow the P.A.N.T rule to teach bad touch or inappropriate touch to kids.
- Privates are Private. We can follow the bathing suit rule that body parts that are covered by a bathrobe are private parts and parents should teach kids the exact words of the private parts(breast, vagina, penis, etc) so that if something happens kids will not be embarrassed to speak with the parents.
- Always Remember your Body belongs to you. We should explain to kids that girls have two private parts (breast and vagina) and boys have one private part (penis) and both have bottomed in common. Also, we make them learn that nobody has the right to touch their parts or kiss their mouth until and unless they are comfortable with it.
- No Means ‘NO’.We should encourage kids to speak up if something happens and also teach them that they have the right to say ‘NO’ if someone s hug or kiss is uncomfortable or makes them nervous and we should make sure that kid must know to call for help or go to the right person for help.
- Talk about Secrets that upsets you. A problem arises when kids think that talking to the parents about this issue is taboo but parents should make bonding and communication with kids so that they can ask questions or discuss what cannot be asked with anyone outside. If parents ‘shoo’ away now then they may start seeking some other means of digital technology to clear their doubts.
EFFECTS OF ABUSE
When a kid is affected by child abuse the kid
- May lack good sleep.
- Seen depressed or sad.
- May hurt themselves.
- Avoid going out or talking to strangers.
- May experience emotional trauma like fear, anger, etc
- Finding bruises in uncommon parts.
HOW PARENTS SHOULD HANDLE
- Parents must restrict media exposure to kids because kids may watch any inappropriate adult content on the screen and they may also not tell you.
- When there are issues like the kid has experienced child abuse we must encourage the child to speak with us about the problem. We should make the kid understand that ‘A home is a place where all secrets can be kept’ and reinforce that it is not their responsibility for the abuse and comfort them. Parents can report them and get additional help.
We can start to speak about good touch and bad touch when they are 3 years old a kid-friendly language. There are lots of worksheets and books available. Kids can be asked to label the private parts or shade the private parts in a different color. Many schools are conducting workshops and sessions for kids. We cannot expect good people around our kids all the time so as a parent we are responsible to teach them to handle such a situation so It’s never too late to start.