Fear of Opening Up By Ishika Paruthi

Between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019, a total of 24, 212 cases of child sexual abuse were reported, which means over 4,000 cases in a month, around 130 in a day and about 1 every 5 minutes and these are the figures of only 6 months and not even the whole year. These figures tell us the actual reality of the atrocious society we live in; the predator does not care if his/her victim is a 19-year-old, a 9-year-old or a 9-month-old. The numbers mentioned above are of the cases that were reported, but the actual number might be even greater because there are tons of cases which aren’t even reported.

It might be because of a ton of reasons; from having a poor bond with the family to the predator being someone known to the victim to the fear of ‘what will the society say?’ amongst others. I did a little research on the same and asked a few of my friends if they have ever been sexually abused in their life and 7 out of 12 friends I asked, have experienced it which was a shock for me and an even bigger shock was that none of these cases were ever reported. When I asked them about their reasons for not reporting the abuse, the answers I heard varied from “lack of awareness” to “no one would believe me” to “ I was threatened that if I tell someone, the consequences won’t be good” to “for the sake of my loved ones”. Looking back at all the interviews, I realized that child sexual abuse is way more common than it seems and people are fearful of reporting due to one reason or the other and there is also a lack of proper knowledge about CSA in the parents due to which the child does not get the right knowledge and might not be acknowledged when he/she is abused. There needs to be proper communication between the child and the parents and so that the child should feel comfortable talking to them about anything and everything. Rather than keeping an eye on the children 24X7, parents should make the children feel welcoming and comforting, so that if something happens, the child comes to you and an action can be taken.
In today’s time when everything is happening online, it is even more important that parents talk to their children on a regular basis because the internet is full of predators who can easily trap your children and once you become a victim, it leaves a mark on you and leaves you with a horrible thought and an experience that will haunt you forever. Tell your children to be fearless and look out for themselves as well as others and if something has happened, make sure that an action is taken and raise a voice for yourself and for someone you know who didn’t.

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