Child Sexual Abuse For Disabled Children by Sonam Narayan

According to WHO, child sexual abuse can be defined as the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violates the laws or social taboos of society. Child sexual abuse is evidenced by this activity between a child and an adult or another child who by age or development is in a relationship of responsibility, trust or power, the activity being intended to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person. WHO defines Intellectual disability as a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information and to learn and apply new skills.
According to WHO children who are disabled are more prone to the abuse compared to the other normal children. They are four time more likely to be victim as compared to the normal child. The reason why they are more likely to be abused are-
• These children are vulnerable in nature they are more likely found alone in the care center or in the home, where they are being taken care by the caretakers and the caretakers can be the one who can abuse them.
• These children are not being able to communicate this issue to their parents.
• In the most cases it has been noted that these children are not given more attention as compared to the normal kids and so when the abuser pretends to be friend or scares him that if they open their mouth they wouldn’t be accepted. These children believe this and keep quiet which in result supports the abuser’s wrong deeds.
• These children at times are not able to understand what is happening with their body, and there are times when they are not being believed.
How to be aware
1. Talk to your children and try to understand what they are saying. Most importantly believe your children.
2. Keep a look on the caretakers. Don’t leave your kid’s responsibility entirely to the caretaker.
3. Spend some time with your kid and if you see any behavioral changes, please try to understand what can be the reason for this.
4. Try to teach them about good touch and bad touch.
5. If you come to know that your child is sexually abused then most importantly don’t shush your kid, tell him it’s not his fault and he should not be ashamed of it. It is the abuser who should be ashamed of his deed.
6. Seek legal help in this case. Report the case to the police, child welfare committee or call the helplines which deal with the child sexual abuse.
7. The abuser can be held liable under the Article 21 of the constitution of India which talks about the Protection of life and personal liberty and under the provisions of the POCSO.

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