'Maid accused of molesting child may have been victim as a kid'

After the shocking incident of a four-and-a-half year old boy being sexually molested by a domestic help surfaced yesterday, NGOs and social workers working towards creating social awareness about child sexual abuse say that it is of utmost importance to familiarize children about good touch and bad touch at an early age.

Psychiatrists say it is possible that the maid could have been abusing the child because she herself was abused by someone during the early stages of her life.

The accused maid: Rina Sundar Bhegara, who is accused of sexually abusing the four-year-old son of her employer. She was sacked after the victim’s mother caught her red-handed, but made threatening calls thereafter stating that she would defame the family by disclosing the name of the boy

Rare case
Dr Bhooshan Shukla, family and child psychiatrist said that it is a very unusual and rare case and added that it was important to trace the maid and provide her psychological treatment. He said that she was not only abusing the child, but was also pricking his genitals with safety pins.

Another psychiatrist, on condition of anonymity, echoed the sentiment and said that the maid could have been retaliating because of the abuse she may have suffered.

Checks important
“Such incidents are not common. Parents who keep their children under the care of a domestic help should be very careful and random checks and surprise visits are necessary to know the conduct of maids with their children,” said Anuradha Sahastrabuddhe, of Child Line.

She added that instead of leaving children under the care of maids, it is better if parents seek the services of a reputed day care centre.

Prasanna Rabade, a psychotherapist at Disha Council Centre said that parents should train children about bad touch and good touch.

Talking helps
“Constant communication is the key to avoid such incidents. Parents should create an amicable atmosphere and encourage children to share each and everything happening around them. The reason why the kid chose to keep mum for long could be because victims feel that they won’t be believed,” Rabade said.

Rabade added that parents should conduct physically examinations on their children at least once a week because if the child is a victim of sexual abuse, he or she will be reluctant to show his or her private parts to parents.

“Parents should consult doctors if they notice any sudden change in their child’s behaviour,” Rabade said.  

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