The whole of the world is deploying its resources to combat the deadly Covid-19 virus. Every country is conceiving its strategy to slow down the spread and to reduce fatalities.we are still living in lockdown initiated on 25th March. Although the unlock phase is going on still we are locked in our houses. Since the pandemic began we were focussed on reducing its speed, fatalities, and developing vaccine. our focus shifted from crimes against children
we are worried about the lack of access to education but we neglected the abuse a child has to face during this lockdown. The abuser is generally closely related to children in 95% of cases. Half of the abuse takes place at home.
Home is considered as the safest social institution which is most vulnerable to inside attackers. Parents deny the existence of child abuse but they need to know around 70% of victim children never report the matter to anyone. Predator who fed on these victims is often regarded as an uncle or older cousin who abuse their younger ones.
During this lockdown, the helpline for child sexual abuse has been flooded with rescue calls. A recent study showed that the child was molested at home every 3 days during this lockdown. During this period merely 26 cases were heard under POCSO ( Protection of child from sexual offenses) Act. The figure heard is much lower as most of the time victims don't have the courage to report.
We have the largest population of children in the world - 472 million but all of them doesn't have safe homes. Although the safe home is mere Mirage. We can't neglect homeless children, rag pickers, the runways, and one who begs. We don't have any system to even reach them, protect them as far away. Because of this child laborers [child labor is illegal but boom!! it still exists] are trapped without any payment and any outside help.
The major goal right now for all of us is to survive. If food can reach to us similarly help can reach to victims via volunteers. i
Information and help could be distributed by police in their check-ins.
What we need is awareness to parents, to victims, to students via online media platforms or classrooms. We need to acknowledge its existence as denying existence is not a solution to the problem. We need to teach our younger siblings and children about good touch and bad touch.
Confidence is an essential tool. They should have the courage to seek help and blaming the victim is not a way to address the problem. A safe home is a myth like privacy hence we need to provide them safer homes in reality.
Child helpline number - 1098
Seeking help is a sign of strength not weakness
Picture Courtesy - Alexas_Fotos