TV making parents more aware of child sex abuse
After Satyamev Jayate episode about child abuse, number of parents calling experts to ask about signs to look for goes up
Parents are currently more aware about child sexual abuse than they ever were in the past, thanks to the team behind Satyamev Jayate for bringing such serious core issues to the forefront in its second episode aired on May 13.
Since the show aired, city-based doctor Bhooshan Shukla, who is a child and family psychiatrist, has received six calls from parents, who suspect that their children are being abused.
Shukla has been working for the cause since 11 years and has designed and filmed content for a workshop on child sexual abuse with the help of Meera Kabra, a movie reviewer.
He said children must be taught about good touch and bad touch and parents must develop their children’s self-confidence and trust them.
“I received a good number of calls from parents concerned whether their child is being molested by someone. The programme made our job easier and the message was spread to an extensive audience,” Shukla said.
The psychiatrist launched a website, www.nobadtouch.com, around four months ago with guidelines and procedures on how parents and school authorities can discuss the topic with children.
NGOs working for child sexual abuse like Childline and Disha have also witnessed a significant increase in the number of calls coming in.
“Children generally trust their parents the most, but in many cases they turn out to be the abuser,” said Childline executive director, Dr Anuradha Sahasrabudhe.
Shubhangi Khasnis, counselor at Disha said that sometimes even if a child complains, it is not believed or suppressed to protect the abuser or safeguard the family name.
Khasnis added that though Juvenile Justice Act and the Indian Penal Code have provisions to punish child sexual abusers under various sections, the need of the hour is to empower children.