A Guest Lecture on 'Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)' by Ms. Ashwini N V
As a part of Learn2Apply series, School of Sciences, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) conducted a session on ‘Prevention of child sexual abuse (CSA)’ by Ms. Ashwini N V on 11 August 2017 in the college premises.
Talking about the CSA and its effect on child, Ms. Ashwini explained five categories in which child maltreatment can occur such as physical abuse, neglect and negligent treatment, emotional abuse, commercial and other exploitation of children and child sexual abuse.
Explaining the various means in which a child may express the exploitation he/she is facing, she said that, it is caregivers’ responsibility and sensitivity to realize child’s behaviors as warning signs and take the necessary actions to safeguard the child.
She also said that, in a collectivist based patriarchal society like ours, it is difficult to discriminate the false positives from the true victim episodes. Thus, there are several myths surrounding the child sexual abuse, which need to be busted.
Emphasizing the child’s behavior, she explained the reasons behind a child not revealing about being abused. The reasons she listed are:
Threats they receive from the abusers
Necessity to maintain secret
Fear of being abandoned
Facing shame among family and friends
No language skills present
Fear of getting the abuser into trouble
Child is facing severe confusion
Hype caused by popular media
Not realizing that they are being abused or victimized
She also opined that the abusers are not necessarily outsiders, more often they will be family members or friends of the family. She also outlined some of the below-mentioned signs which aid in identifying potential abusers:
Over friendliness or affection towards the child
Gifts for no apparent reason
Seeks out company of the child intentionally
Comes across as lenient towards inappropriate behavior of the child
Seems overprotective of the child but allows special privileges
Indulges in secretive games
Recurrently walks in on the child using the bathroom or the dressing room
During the session, Ms. Ashwini suggested four approaches that can be adapted in order to prevent CSA such as:
Potential victim focused approach
Perpetrator focused approach
Situation focused approach
Community focused approach
Discussing these various approaches, she stated that those who are working to prevent CSA should adapt combination of these approaches to prevent CSA, however, in order to attain long term elimination of the problem, she suggested to adapt the community focused approach where all the sections of the society play an equal and important role in preventing CSA.
During the session, while talking about the prevention steps, she urged to spread the awareness about the issue and six important alerts that all the stakeholders must know:
The session conducted by Ms. Ashwini has been an integral step in achieving the larger goal of abolishing child sexual abuse (CSA). The lecture was interactive, informative and empowering for the students who will play a large role in tomorrow’s society as responsible citizens as well as effective mental health professionals.