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Parents play a pivotal role

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The role and responsibility of a parent in upbringing the child is enormous and the key factor for the development of their siblings in future life. Children are the future of this country and the early upbringing is a guiding force for their entire life. Children going to schools face sexual abuse in different forms. Some of them cope up with such sexual advances in their own typical way and some of them report them to teachers or to their parents to get a solution to the problem.

In this regard, poor parenting did make a lot of difference in the attitude of the child as per a study. In family life, the vast majority of parents are trying to give them tips or directing them to watch TV and at the same time, they themselves enjoy the worldly pleasures thus leaving out the children in isolation. In schools, some of the children coming from the poor parenting group find easy prey in schools and they try to sexually abuse the child sitting next to them. This can be arrested if our child is properly given feedback about the unwanted way of chiding the children in the form of sexual abuse. Various threats enforced on them on a regular basis is a bad weapon in children and that have a bad effect in their entire career.

It is time to keep track of the behaviour of our own children before finding fault with other children. If the matter is reported to you, find an amicable solution instead of just brushing aside the matter. When my elder son faced such a problem during his school days, I was able to pacify my sibling and at the same time caution the offender and requested him not to repeat the offence and that worked wonders and the matter was closed once for all. For other parents and guardians, it is time to use time tested methods and keep a track if you feel the youngster is following a wrong way and in the name of infatuation or over-eagerness to exploit things from the sexual angle. Wait and watch approach and effective measures of handling without wasting time can yield the desired results.

The children living in child care institutions often have to live in facilities without proper toilets, secure compounds or the opportunity to vent their grievances as provided for under law underscores the painful reality that they remain virtually invisible. Reform of this depressing system, as the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeks, can be achieved only through systematic scrutiny by State governments. This could be done by appointing special officers whose task it would be to ensure that all institutions registered under the JJ Act, account for funds received by each, and enforce mandatory child protection policies during adoption.

Child abuse is common in religious schools as well. An investigation by the Associated Press stated that thousands of incidents of sexual abuse happen in schools but are not reported. Both the Religious Affairs Ministry and the Child Protection Bureau acknowledge that the problem exists but when such cases come up they go on the defensive. Their claim is that it happens in every society. This attitude, child rights activists say, offers little help in tackling the problem.

A crusader against child labour, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi now takes up preventing child sexual abuse as his mission. This menace of child sexual abuse, rape, violence against children, and child trafficking is growing and has become a moral epidemic. The entire society is affected by it, whether it is a boy or a girl, rich or poor, it is prevalent in big cities and small. Children are not safe in schools, at home, and in public spaces. Sadly, in most cases, they don’t speak up under the garb of honour, respect, and dignity, because we don’t have the environment where children can vent. They live in depression and frustration, which affects their personality. In many cases, the abuse is by their own relatives, and the biggest challenge is to break the silence.

Law is important, and it is like a tool, like a weapon. But when you don’t have the courage and the mind to use it, it’s of no use as the society is not prepared to use the weapon. Society is not prepared to use a strong law like the POCSO Act. The Act is very good in itself, but enforcement has to take place through judicial institutions, as prosecution is not taking place, and the conversion of the prosecution to conviction is minimal.

On the occasion of World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse, here’s a peek at the rising crimes against children, and an attempt to see what more the State can do in terms of ensuring the welfare, and future, of its youngsters. Better council should prevail in dealing with child abuse cases and a fast track court should decide the punishment quickly. Despite all these preventive measures, parents play a pivotal role and have control over their children for the betterment of society in general and the welfare of their own children in particular.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)
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