In a very recent event, a Bombay High Court Judge said that groping a minor’s breast without ‘skin to skin’ contact cannot be considered as child abuse as explained under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The verdict faced a lot of backlash from the concerned parents, netizens and the people who have been fighting against child sexual abuse since many years in our country. Not even a few days passed by since this verdict was out, yesterday another ruling from Bombay High Court came out with another triggering verdict. By reversing a conviction of a 50-year-old man who was accused for molesting a 5-year-old girl under Sections 8 and 10 of the POCSO Act. The verdict said that unzipping pants while holding a minor’s hand doesn’t count as a child sexual offence.
While these events are sparking debates and conversation in the communities the real concern is falling on the parents. With child abuse being an urban reality there is still a lot of stigma around the issue. Mostly parents and guardians have been shying away from these talks for many certain reasons. But its high time we start making our child aware on this sensitive problem.
Well, firstly we need to acknowledge that we are not only educating our children but ourselves too. So there is an inevitable need to except that unfortunately child abuse exist in our society and any child can fall prey to it without proper surveillance and awareness.
Starting a conversation about abuse with our kids can be very tricky and challenging. Having a right approach is very necessary in this situation and for that we need to first make them understand how a ‘touch’ can be safe or unsafe to them. UNICEF say that parents need to develop a language with their children through which they can articulate their feelings. Ultimately, comfort is the key. Give them a safe space and make them aware about their body parts. Its very necessary for them to know how a certain touch towards their specific body parts can be dangerous.
Lastly, above everything prepare your child for these circumstances and tell them that its extremely okay to say NO if anyone is making them uncomfortable. If your child speaks up now, he or she may prevent any other future abuse for him/herself and when they do come to you with their experience, listen.