Today is World Day for Prevention of child abuse.
In my opinion, the top 3 measures to be taken prevent on child abuse are :
Create Awareness :Educate and train our children on personal safety.
Build an environment of safety and trust: Parent-teacher- school-community collaboration on child safety plays a big role in it. I had started my #ParentsInSchool campaign on the same note.
Encourage them to speak up : The trauma of abuse should not be suppressed into a child to build a serious post traumatic stress disorder.So we should encourage a child to speak up and express to release the stress .
Another major aspect we probably miss is the art of responding instead of just reacting.
Whenever there is an incident of child abuse is in news everyone reacts starting from news channels,media,parents,people. We probably forget the fact that the child is in a traumatized condition.
An incident of abuse can create profound and long lasting impact on a child.
Too much of interrogation is not really healthy for a child at that point of time. So we must first try to help the child to come out of the trauma. The art of responding and counselling plays a great role here.
In a country like India where we have 0.75 Psychiatrists for over 1 lakh population , it is essential to empower trauma first responders. I believe every parent and teacher should learn the art of responding.
Our valuable member Shipra Parswani child abuse first responder. She is the president of The Plane Jar, a non profit organization for to provide psycho-socio-economic aid for Mental Health, Abuse and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Shipra is just 20 now but a lot to learn from her to adopt the art of responding.
I believe "investing in repairing a childhood" is the best investment one can do in his/her life and she is truly doing that.
Every 15 minutes a child is getting abused in our country. So it is very much essential for every parent and teachers to learn the art of responding.
Your first step of responding can be a warm hug to your child. It makes her realize that you trust and understand her. Please don't interrogate too much. Give her the time to be stable enough to speak up at least to the person she trusts.