In 2016, a total of 4139 cases of sexual abuse were reported in newspapers, which was a 10 percent increase since 2015. 23% cases entailed rape or sodomy, according to an article published at Daily Times. We all know about the heart breaking incident occurred at Qasur where a 6 years old girl was kidnapped, raped, brutally killed and thrown on the garbage. Looking at the massive increase in number of Child Sexual Abuse cases, different organizations and institutes are moving towards mass awareness campaign on Child Sexual Abuse and Safety measures for Parents and children. Different sessions are held at schools and in streets.
Beaconhouse School System, Harley Street Branch Rawalpindi decided to train teachers and parents on the issue of Child Sexual Abuse. For this purpose, they invited Ms. Anbreen Ajaib; the Executive Director of Bedari to deliver a session on the said topic. Participants were guided on how to keep their children safe from being sexually abused. Ms. Anbreen Ajaib briefed them about sexual abuse and shared the characteristics of potential abuser.
Participants were also told about the behaviors their children may encounter while being abused. Sexual abuse leaves devastating effects on a child’s brain. Before they are hit with this heinous crime, parents need to take preventive measures. They must listen to their children and trust them.
It has been experienced that most of the abusers are relatives to that children so it makes children more vulnerable to be around and with them. The conclusion of the discussion was to accept that it is not children’s fault to be abused, therefore it is crucial to trust them and initiate dialogue with them. Parents agreed to the dire need of developing a trust relationship with children where they can easily ask any questions from them no matter how odd they look to be.
Bedari offers these services to schools on voluntary basis and encourages the management of schools to organize such session more often.