Protect your kids from paedophiles

Stopping abuse

On September 8 2012, two cases of sexual abuse of minors were reported from the City. A three-year old boy was sodomised by his school bus driver and a seven year-old girl was sexually abused by the school bus’ driver and cleaner.

The cases were brought to light by parents and school management was forced to take action. But there are times when cases of sexual abuse are not reported and criminals go scot-free.

For both parents and school authorities it is undoubtedly a difficult task to keep an eye on every single step of the child but certain measures can be adopted to keep children away from paedophiles. Explaining the psychology behind these acts, Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist, Vidyasagar Institute for Mental Health, Neuro and Allied Science (VIMHANS) says, “An abuser has no sympathy for the victim. They have a charming personality which at times they use to get intimate with the child. They know all the tactics to befriend a child. Generally, children get confused and fail to understand the motives. Secondly, the abuser is extremely cautious about his behaviour. It is not easy to read their intentions.”

But if parents were more receptive, according to Pulkit, they could help in preventing such crimes and if in case a child has been victimised then, they are the only ones who can boost the confidence of their child and lead him back to a normal life. “Parents should be very vigilant. If their child is going through behavioural changes they should be the first one to notice it. They should definitely overcome their negative emotions instead of blaming the child.”

“More so, the kid should be allowed to express himself/herself freely, so that he could speak easily and talk about any problems that they are facing. For this, there should be good communications between parents and the kid,” informs Pulkit.

At school level too, it is the management’s duty to ensure certain set procedures are followed during pick-and-drop facility from school to home. Amita Vattal, vice president of the National Progressive School Alliance says, “The management should follow prescribed norms for appointing bus staff.  In buses, besides a driver and a helper, auxiliary staff must be present.”

She says, “In Delhi, 50 per cent kids move by school buses but what about the remaining kids who travel by metros and vans. Schools should ensure proper workshops for kids to make them aware about the ‘bad touch’.”

Mekhla Sinha, who works as an HR executive with a private firm and also a mother of a six-year old boy and a four-year old girl says, “I never thought about this problem till I watched an episode of ‘Satyamev Jayate’.  I made my kids watch the workshop which was shown at the end of the show regarding three dangerous areas of the body which should not be touched.

“We remind them about this each day and tell them those areas should not be touched by anyone either in the school or family.”

Sexual abuse of minors in schools, bus or anywhere else can be prevented only by vigilance and better communication.

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