CHILDLINE and Child Sexual Abuse on Satyamev Jayate
Whom does a child turn to when the one he trusts with all of his heart turns abuser? In a nut-shell, the second episode of Aamir Khan’s television show was simply heart-wrenching. It brought out a common but rarely talked-about scourge of society – the sexual abuse of children – often by people they trust the most.
The much-talked-about show – Satyamev Jayate hosted by the eloquent Amir Khan was a game changer for CHILDLINE and the issue of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in India.
The programme introduced to the Star TV audience the devastating issue of CSA, hugely prevalent in India. The show began with a study revealed by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India stating that 53% of children who had been interviewed had been subject to one or more form of sexual abuse. Following this, victims of CSA, now adult survivors narrated their painful experiences on national television, opening dialogue on this issue. Later, Nishit Kumar from CHILDLINE India Foundation appeared on the show to speak on the work done by CHILDLINE for CSA and discuss the milestone judgement passed by the Supreme Court on the Anchorage case. Aamir also invited individuals working closely with children who had been victim to CSA, allowing the audience to understand the issue at greater depth. Finally, children were called on to the show and an awareness workshop was conducted by Aamir himself teaching children about which parts of the body were ‘danger’ parts urging them to scream anytime something like this happened and simply run to a safe area.
Questions to ponder over
Aamir was successful in discussing those issues pertaining to CSA which are most often pushed under the carpet. It was the beginning of sowing the seeds in the minds of the audience:
- Do we acknowledge the fact that our children are under threat even at home?
- What are the myths surrounding the issue of CSA?
- What is the impact of sexual abuse on children and adult survivors?
- Why don’t we discuss the issue of sexual abuse with our children?
- Are we open to listening to our children disclose what might have happened to him/her?