CSA FAQ by Arpan Part 6 : Creating Awareness
- Engaging with CSA: Creating Awareness and Working towards Prevention:
Q25. Considering that there is discomfort around talking about CSA as a taboo subject how would you go about bringing awareness?
Education is the key. Efforts are being made to sensitize, support and develop the required knowledge, attitude and skill amongst parents and teachers and other relevant stakeholders in order to help them create a safety and support net around the child. These stakeholders are addressed in order to make them understand that each person has a role to play in the keeping children safe. For example, parents are told about how they play a pivotal role in keeping children safe by opening up channels of communication with children on issues of private body parts and safe and unsafe touches. Simple steps like teaching the child the names of private body parts while introducing them with other body parts like hand, legs, face etc. can be immensely productive in creating a matter of fact attitude towards private body parts and ease and comfort to talk about them in case children have been sexually abused.
In a similar fashion, teaching children touching rules like, “it is never alright for someone to touch, look at, or talk about your Private Body Parts except to keep you clean and healthy”, “It is never alright for someone to ask you to touch, look or talk about their Private Body Parts”, “In case, someone breaks the touching rule, say ‘No’ and run”, “Tell someone you trust to get the help you need” etc. Thus, by talking about these issues that are otherwise pushed into silence Arpan intends to bring about awareness.
Q24. In spite of escalating figures, why is the outreach of Child Sexual Abuse prevention programmes quite limited?
The programmes are limited in their outreach because there are limited organizations who are working towards this. At the same time, schools/institutions are not open to ”Life Skill” modules pertaining to Personal Safety Skills , given the sensitivity of the issue of CSA and the silence around it. Another significant challenge is that all parents are not supportive of the programme as they wrongly feel that any information about private body parts and personal safety will rob the children of their innocence.
Note: For more information on Personal Safety Education programme please refer to section on Personal Safety Education.