Patna: Children themselves suppressing cases of abuse has emerged as the biggest obstacle to ending sexual crimes against children in Bihar.
Despite awareness about bad touch, over 90 per cent of sexual offences on children are still committed by people known to them, said officials of World Vision, an NGO, on Tuesday during the launch of a campaign to end child sexual abuse and exploitation in Bihar by 2021.
A “free to talk environment” inside our homes will end secrecy in which child sexual abuse thrives, experts said at the meet.
Asked about the magnitude of sexual violence against children in Bihar, World Vision associate director Satya Prakash Pramanik said according to the National Crime Records Bureau, at least 20,000 children faced sexual harassment and exploitation in the country in 2016.
“In Bihar, because of the fear of shame, many such crimes are still not reported by guardians, which affects the future of child survivors adversely.” He told The Telegraph that the campaign embodies sexual harassment awareness sessions for schoolchildren and sensitisation of parents on child protection, parenting and care at the household level to create sexual violence-free environment for children in Bihar.
Harping on the need to make child-friendly environment, Satya said: “The practice of concealing such crimes is the biggest hurdle in ending child sexual abuse.
The guardians should make a free-to-talk environment at home so that they could share their bad experiences without the fear of shame.”
Sunil Kumar, director department of social welfare, said: “The moment parents began to talk with their children about sexual offences, those will witness a drastic decline, if not completely end.”
Radhika Kumari, 16, a participant, suggested some ways to end the sexual harassment of children, the most important being enhancing awareness about good and bad touch, separate school toilets for girls and the creation of child-friendly environment at home.
Courtesy: The Telegraph