Amongst the various social concerns, child abuse in India remains a major concern. It is much more than the broken bones and bruises. The scars left by child abuse are much deeper and lasting. It prevails in four types, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.
According to a report, the majority of sexual abuse, accounting for 93 percent, happen at the hands of an adult to a child. In the majority of these 93 percent cases, the abused children remain confused about the adult, supposed to be trustworthy.
Child abusers have also been termed “experts” at emotional manipulation of children. These experts gain the trust of the children well in advance, until the actual abuse.
The current situation clearly reflects the need for parents to be responsible for protecting their children. Experts say that the earlier abused children get help, the chance of them healing is greater. This breaks the cycle of the pain, rather than prolonging it.
This article brings you the ways through which you can protect your children from sexual abuse. Take a look:
- Learn the facts, be aware and understand the risks involved. Parents should not let anything influence their decisions regarding the child. Most of the times, the reality is what you do not trust. Most of the times, the abuser is not “stranger”, but is someone from your friends and family.
- Parents must strive to minimize the opportunity for the abusers. They should try to eliminate the one-adult/one-child situations. This will lower the risk of sexual abuse for your child, dramatically.
- Parents should remain friends with their children and talk about It. In a number of cases of child abuse, children often keep it a secret. However, parents can break such barriers by talking openly about it.
- Stay aware and alert about your child. Parents must not expect the obvious signs when a child is being sexually abused. The signs can differ from child to child. Most of the times, the signs are there and you have to spot them.
- Stay calm! Yes, that is exactly what parents should do. If your child is being abused, it is obviously not his fault. Your reaction of anger or disbelief may shut your child from telling you anything. Therefore, stay calm and offer support to your child.
- Act on your suspicions. Parents when suspect child abuse, they may not have any proof. Moreover, they may be reluctant to report. However, they should not. Parents should go with their ‘gut’ feeling and report as soon as they can.
Mistreatment of a child by an adult can harm or endangers the health, development or wellbeing of the child. Such harm experienced in childhood can leave significant and lasting effects on the child. Parents can prevent their children from such effects by staying aware.