By Suhana Keeranthodika

Every child deserves safety and survival!

I wish every day to write something happy and positive, but what is left here as positive when even little children can’t live safely and happily! We are shocked to hear the most heinous crime from the place called heaven on earth, Jammu and Kashmir. An 8-year-old girl was brutally raped and killed by a group of men here.

It is always so disturbing and distressful to hear a child’s cry which is not being answered. I was thinking how much would have that girl cried and how many times she might have called her mother for help and think about the level of her mother’s anxiety! Our consciousness is not even ready to imagine that extreme dreadfulness one could ever have and that happened to a child.

Researches conducted by many valid institutes estimate that around 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually exploited before the age of 18. How much does a kid know about the condition of our society? It is not possible to tell them everything every time. By doing so it may result in losing their carefree childhood. And we may be making a child with an adult’s knowledge. No parent will be able to think in that way. What else can we do?

These days parents and teachers try to make children understand in their own way, by teaching them good touch and bad touch and by telling them to report any bad incidents and all. And some parents teach self-defence techniques. Even after all these, children are still vulnerable to crime! I am writing this with a heavy heart and fear. We cannot follow our children 24*7. A helicopter parenting is said to have a negative impact, then what? I am also ignorant, but I would like to share some learnings.


Crimes against children

Not just in our country, news are coming from every corner of the world. Still, we don’t recognize how close it is to us and our children. Kidnapping, Abduction, Rape, Assault, Insult to the modesty of girl children, Procuration of minor girls, Murder, and Others are the few and common crimes against children.

Child safeguard in the world cannot be secured with just having legislation and guidelines. We as a society need to invest in fostering a culture of zero toleration for violence upon children. We should be watchful and informed of the fact that children are at risk. It should be uncompromisable for any country and other authorities to implement themselves in understanding these chances and put sturdy systems and processes to evaluate and eliminate crime.

After effects of increasing crime vulnerability in society

It is not easy to remain as a survivor of crime in our society. Society has a behaviour to push back victims through words and gazes. But only victims know how difficult it is to being exposed and victimised to crime.

To avoid dangerous conditions and after effects, parents and loved ones keep children restricted indoors and try to keep them in their visibility and also keep on pondering on their daily activities which actually affects children adversely, like they lose confidence and self-esteem and mainly they will fail in taking care of themselves when they grow up.

Few personal body safety rules to teach children

Since ages, parents and social groups are taking numerous measures to make children more strong and empowered to face vulnerable situations. The point is, we still are unable to fully stop the risk of our children being abused. Some suggest that we have to let our children to go out into the world and socialize with those around them. Along, we should furnish them with the awareness that might protect them from being deceived. Parents usually do not talk to their children about body safety early enough. We assume kids are too young, that may be true. But we can make conversation lighter enough for little kids understand it without scaring. For instance,

  • Teach them about body parts early and tell them that some body parts are private. Teach your child about personal boundaries. Many parents and books talk about “good touch and bad touch”, but this can be confusing because often these touches do not hurt or may not be bad. Instead, tell them to be aware about the ‘secret touches’ as it is a more precise depiction of what might occur.
  • Tell your child that body secrets are not okay, like in case anyone did approach them for a bad touch and told them to keep it a secret, it’s good to let kids know that you parents will always protect them from any such black mailings, and they should inform incidents like that to parents.

  • Tell your child that no one is allowed to take pictures of their private parts.
  • Teach your child how to get out of scary or uncomfortable situations. Some children may not be comfortable in saying “No” to older friends or elders. Tell them that its OK to say no and teach them a method to flee from such situations like telling them to say that they need to go to the toilet or mummy is coming/calling, etc.
  • Tell your child that these rules apply even to people they know and even with another child.

Is there anything society can do to eradicate crime from the roots?

We cannot wait for the authorities to act, instead, let’s take care of our own. We also cannot negotiate on our children anyway. Let’s form groups. Being in groups is better than to be alone. Each group can be advocated about the crimes and also prevent the origination of criminals. Although every single parent should be vigilant and check the outside places like schools and day-cares constantly. We cannot ignore the situation by saying that in our childhood our parents didn’t do all these.

Every child deserves a survival!

We believe and know that every crime is preventable if strict measures are taken appropriately and timely. Our children deserve safety and survival from these preventable crimes.

What if it happened anyway?

Sometimes it is unfortunate to encounter traumatic incidences. In that case, report the incidence and keep your (girl/boy) child away from the rest of the world till the situation gets better. The Law and Order has to intervene in order to provide the harsh punishment to the culprits. The child may need to face the predators during the court trials and hearings. Make all possible arrangements that your child is with you while facing the criminals, even if it is minimal. Also, provide him/her all kinds of medical facilities to recover from physical injuries, and psychiatric counseling in addition. Show him/her plenty of love and affection. Tell them it was not their fault. Be there with them most of the times. They are most likely facing PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which is curable.

The psychological agony could be extensively deep, and is capable to enable an individual involve into vengeful behavior. Only proper care can let them recover. Let’s take care of our children to have good memories, not scars!

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