Awareness and Sensitization on Child Sexual Abuse

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I am AngryWe Have Let Down Our Children

At the familiar buzz of a WhatsApp alert, the corner of my eyes turned to my phone – The next few minutes saw me nauseous and angry…so angry… as I read, yet another news of a child abused in Chennai, repeatedly for seven months by 22 men! As the horrific details were shared by the media, the city slowly was seized by the brutality of the planned crime, heightened by the apathy of its people- a nation, that is unashamedly betraying its children, again and again, while men lose their souls to perversion and pure evil. Genocide of the human spirit, I call it.

Sadly, Chennai is gripped in the clutches of child sexual abuse gender-based violence, intolerant to those from other states, leaders striving to be politically correct and make their own gains and a community that has failed to safeguard the intrinsic value and life of every child. Over time, we speculate, blame, defend, make a hype, till the next time. Our job as adults is not to be passive observers but to actively interfere.  

It is our collective responsibility to take care of the children in our community.

We are beginning to understand and talk about how sex offenders can be a neighbour, friend or a family member. It is slowly dawning on us how the mighty, famous and revered too can be offenders. Incidents such as these remind us of how as a society we need to take giant steps to protect our children from abuse, starting at home and in our schools.

If Jallikattu can evoke such a strong response in our people, why not following the gory reports of this 11- year old child with hearing impairment? What about those unreported cases where the child continues to suffer in silence? What do our parents and teachers have to say, especially those who are aware, many a time, of such crimes and fail to report? What about those who have the power to influence or those whose say matters, the medical fraternity and scientific community, religious leaders and political heads? Where are the actors, celebrities and so called “voices of the common people”? Where are you now Chennai?

History stands to judge us all and the next generation will hold us accountable as we become victims to our feigned ignorance, our perceived helplessness and our indifference

These are our children…let’s not fail them!

Dr. Anita Victor is Director – Health at World Vision India. She is a medical graduate from Christian Medical College Vellore, and worked as an Army Doctor. She is an expert in the field of Public Health. She could be reached at anita_victor@wvi.org