Report on Awareness Session by Ishika Paruthi

Childhood is considered as a garden where nature flourishes at its best but in real most children are often neglected and abused. From all the activities I have completed and the session I conducted with my circle I realised that a major chunk of reported child mistreatment was child sexual abuse. Most of the children are victims of CSA before the age of 18.
While conducting my awareness session about CSA, I opted for zoom as my preferred application. The age of the audience was from 13 – 46 years of age. I had to make sure that I use words suitable for adults and children alike and not offend them in any way.
The topics I covered were:
1. What is good touch and bad touch
2. Consequences of CSA
3. How can the parents stay in touch with their children?
4. Awareness about online predators
5. Who is trustworthy and who is not?
Materials used:
1. Video made by Vaishnavi Arya
2. Internet Safety Guidelines by Age by Prashant Tariyal
3. Presentation by Bandana Saikia
Challenges faced by me
1. Making sure that I use words such as harassment, sexual abuse and paedophiles in a sensitive manner.
2. Convincing the children about how easy it is to talk to your parents and moreover how their parents are the ones who can always help them and be their pillar of support.
3. Explaining to the children the consequences of CSA
4. Making sure that everyone understood the meaning of every term
5. Safety measure to be considered/taken care of in public
6. Teaching them about the proper use of social media and also the negative effects of it.
A lot of them were hesitant and had a little difficulty in understanding the terms but eventually they did. They were curious to more about CS and how can they be safe. I made sure that there was transparency between the children and their parents and that children can talk to their parents about anything and everything and how they can be the first and best teachers a child can ever have. I also told the children about telling whatever happens with them to their parents and not keep anything to them thinking that they won’t be believed.
I also told the parents about the boys locker room case and how they should sensitise their male child to be sensitive and respectful towards everyone irrespective of their gender and age and to also raise their voice if they see something wrong happening and how both boys and girls should know how to say NO. Young children usually get influenced by their peers to try various things which are not good for their health; physical as well as mental and for the same they should know when to say NO and when to indulge in something!
CSA always impacts the young ones the most specially emotionally and then they have to deal with the repercussions, sometimes for the rest of their life. From the session conducted I made sure that parents teach their children about sex education and to make efforts to become trustworthy in their child’s eyes so that they are the first ones the child comes to when in trouble.

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