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“I do understand your problem, but you have to learn to overcome your grief” – general statement used to console grief-struck people. Practically, a victim alone can experience the grief caused by his loss and no one else can understand the intensity of his pain.

Every other day there is a new victim of molestation, irrespective of the awareness being widespread by the media. It is in a way confusing whether the media is attempting to control such acts by their broadcast or new ideas are being fostered to the sickened minds.

The effect of childhood molestation, not only spoils the innocent childhood but ruins the future as well. Once the child reaches adolescence, he/she may grow up feeling guilty or blaming oneself for letting the assault take place, while it wasn’t the victim’s fault. Further, the victim may end up facing issues with self-esteem and find difficulty in handling relationships.

A very small percentage of the child molesters are strangers, who abduct children and victimize them. While, most of them would be found closely associated or acquainted to the family – uncles, cousins, neighbours – people whom the child as well as the parents trust.

At school, the children are taught –

  • the difference between GOOD TOUCH and BAD TOUCH.
  • to choose their safe adults.
  • to tell NO to bad touch and update it to safe adults.
  • to flee to safe adults or a populated area, when encountered with bad touch.
  • to speak up when someone tells them – “Do not tell anyone”.
  • that the best way to stop such things is to tell the safe adults. And, if they don’t believe, keep telling till they do.

Things Parents can do to protect their sons and daughters:

Be alert. You need not suspect everyone. But, have a watch on what is happening around your child. Stay watchful on the people who spend more time with your child.

Trust your child. Your child should believe that you trust him/her more than the others around.

Listen to your child. Let your child unfurl his/her thoughts and every day experiences. Pay attention to the children’s cues and believe them when they say that someone touched them. Children don’t lie about such matters. At times even, the slightest resistance may lead to feel no one is ready to listen or no one around is trust worthy. Be your child’s safe adult.

Be a friend in need. Choose your words and actions towards your children. When your words or acts harm their emotions, they fall prey for molesters, who pretend to lend tissue to wipe their tears.

Clarify their doubts. Do not let their curiosities overtake their actions.

Molestation at any stage of life, is a matter of serious concern. Rather than tossing over the blame on the attires of girls and the mentality of boys, it is essential to join hands to eradicate the problem from our society.

Written by Ms. Prathima Patel, Vice Principal, Sri Sarvajna Public School