How To Protect Your Children From Child Sexual Abuse
Our expert tells you how to protect your child from sexual abuse and cope with it,With increasing reports of child abuse, parents and guardians need to take a few elementary precautions and safeguard kids from becoming victims. And if anything unfortunate occurs, it is always better to spot the abuse symptoms at the earliest and put the child at ease.
Clinical psychologist Salma Prabhu says the first step is to explain the difference between good touch and bad touch. She says, “A bad touch isn’t restricted to contact with private parts. It refers to anything that the child is not comfortable with; like cheek-pulling or a kiss on the face. The child must be taught to refuse this politely, as many wellmeaning aunties pull their cheeks affectionately. The parents must teach the child to create an alarm and run away from the place. There may be a few false alarms, but those risks have to be taken. If such an incident happens, say in school, then school authorities have to be informed. It is always safe to stick to the golden rule of not letting children talk to strangers.”
Defining sexual abuse
Child sexual abuse is not limited to engaging a child in a sexual act or inappropriate physical contact, but it also involves showing a child an adult’s genitals or making a child watch a sexual act or pornographic material. From self-loathing depression to dysfunctional sexual intimacy, sexual abuse during childhood can scar an individual for life in many ways. Take precautions when children are around two years old and start going to play school, says Prabhu.
The government’s first national study on child abuse in 2007 showed that 53.22 per cent of the children surveyed across India reported one or more forms of sexual abuse. The study also confirmed our worst fear – a pervert relative abusing the child. 50 per cent of the abusers were known to the child or are in a position of trust and responsibility and most children had not reported the matter to anyone, the study found. Prabhu agrees that often a relative gets away with sexual abuse as the child is hesitant to talk about it.
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