A child who is sexually abused may reach out for help only once. Are you ready to listen and act to prevent? Break the silence. Act to stop child abuse.
Break The Silence. Act To Stop Child Abuse
She was found sobbing on the railway platform by our CHILDLINE staff. A class 5 student of a private school, Kamala (name changed to protect her identity) had run away from home. When we tried talking to her, she refused to respond. She kept sobbing, refusing to eat or drink. It was only after several hours of being with her and offering to listen to her that Kamala told us her story.
One night, her father came drunk into her room. He tried to touch her and fondle her. She felt very uncomfortable and pushed him away. He fell down and went to sleep.
It happened again. Then again.
Kamala told her mother of this. Her mother said, “He was drunk and didn’t know what he was doing.”
It continued. He began to attempt to lie on top of her. The intensity of the abuse started to increase.
Kamala told her grandmother of this. Her grandmother said, “He’s an animal. He should be dead.”
Both times, the adults cursed the father, but did not intervene on behalf of Kamala.
Kamala decided to protect herself. She stopped brushing her teeth and having a bath. She hoped that the bad body odour would keep her father away.
But that didn’t work either. Her mother, grandmother and brothers refused to act to protect her.
Having failed to get any help, and giving up hope, Kamala ran away from home. It was then that she was providentially found by our Staff.A child who is sexually abused may reach out for help only once. Are you ready to act to protect?Click To Tweet
Ameena and Sabiha’s story
Ameena (name changed to protect her identity) was sexually abused by her father. She was put into a hostel to protect her.
When she went home for her holidays, her father tried to molest her again. She fought him off.
Ameena noticed that her father was constantly shadowing her younger sister, Sabiha (name changed to protect her identity).
When she managed to get her sister alone, Ameena asked her about this. Sabiha confided that their father was attempting to touch and molest her too.
Ameena and Sabiha confided in a teacher they knew, who in turn contacted Divya Disha.
The most tragic outcome of this? The mother chose security over her daughters saying, “If my husband goes to jail, who will provide for our family?”
The family then ensured that no police case was booked.
The only saving grace is that Ameena convinced her family to send Sabiha to the hostel with her.When a home, school or public space become unsafe for a child to whom should s/he turn?Click To Tweet
We must understand safety from the point of view of a child.
Jaago Badlo Bolo, a year long campaign against Child Sexual Abuse that the Telangana Police has launched is a good step in this direction. It challenges notions of safety.
It is important that the Police, as the protector of the population in our State, takes charges to ensure that children are safe and facilitate safe childhood for all.
Divya Disha welcomes this move. As always, we will continue to collaborate with the Telangana Police to make the police force child-friendly and make safe childhood a reality for all children.
More details about the #JaagoBadloBolo Campaign can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Modern Gypsy · November 3, 2017 at 2:08 pm
This is an important campaign, especially with the rise of child molestation cases. Hope this helps bring awareness to this very real and serious problem.
Divya Disha · November 3, 2017 at 2:42 pm
It is, MG. I’m glad that we are starting to sit up and take notice.
Alice Gerard · November 3, 2017 at 2:38 pm
Thank you for all that you and the NGO that you work with do to stop this horrifying treatment of children. There is never any excuse for child abuse. I live in the United States and it is a serious problem here, as well. It is done behind closed doors and children, who are abused by people in their lives, whom they trust, are traumatized by life. The cycle of violence needs to stop.
Divya Disha · November 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm
Thank you, Alice. We’re just glad that conversations about this reality are now acceptable in India. We have miles to go, but at least we’re making a start.
Mayuri Nidigallu · November 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm
It is heartening to see that Diyva Disha has taken the 1st step towards supporting children trapped in this heinous situation.
Hope you can save many young spirits before they are damaged forever.
More power to you!
Esha · November 3, 2017 at 3:24 pm
The good news is that people now recognise it is happening and acknowledge the fact that something needs to be done! That’s the first step really. But, sadly, that’s not where it ends. We need to act stringently with the perpetrators and bring them to book. We need to protect the chidren by creating robust systems that can save a child. We must act now. Child abuse must stop. Period. I’m glad you shared this post, Corinne. I’ll definitely do my bit because I feel very strongly for children who suffer due to a host of issues that adults create and child abuse happens to be just one of them.
Sunita Saldhana · November 3, 2017 at 3:31 pm
This definitely needs to be taken forward. I know we can never ensure that every child is safe, but we can at least make a difference to a few. How can we help?
pragun · November 3, 2017 at 3:40 pm
Yes, we need to help, but before that feel sad that child abuse is happening.
great effort thru this campaign. Lets Jaago and bring the change.
Sheethal Susan Jacob · November 3, 2017 at 3:52 pm
I was part of a similar NGO when was in India. The first time I heard a child reporting was in a camp, a child from a family one would never expect to face this. I wish people just understand the trauma a child goes through when have to face these abuses. The scar they take with them for life long. Kuddos to your group and the good hearted soul. All the best wishes to give out more light to these little ones.
Vinitha · November 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm
When a child speaks up, often it is the elders who don’t let them to do so by giving ridiculous excuses thereby protecting the abuser. Glad to know that these kids were able to protect themselves after all. But how many more are out there silently enduring the abuse! Speak up, stand up and protect each other. This is a noble campaign. Proud of Divya dasha.
Shirley Corder · November 3, 2017 at 5:11 pm
Thank you for all you’re doing to help bring this into the light. It’s so sad and so wide spread. It crosses all racial, economic and social barriers too.
Manisha Garg · November 3, 2017 at 6:21 pm
There are ao many cases which can be taken care however as shared the family doesnt support. I am glad at this initiative hoping it would give the confidence to fight back to those who suffer silently.
Amrita · November 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm
It is important we support all efforts to make childhood safe and keep children safe.
Bellybytes · November 4, 2017 at 12:13 am
Unfortunately people have literally got away with murder. One of the worst things a human can do is prey on someone helpless and innocent. Any kind of abuse is deplorable and we should encourage children to speak up. Empowering women to be self sufficient will help them in standing up for their children. Only capital punishment will act as a sufficient deterrent because there is no smoke without a fire. And generally children don’t make up such stories so an adult will be wary of touching a child for fear of being caught.
Anamika Agnihotri · November 4, 2017 at 3:45 am
It is heartening to know about Divya Disha’s campaign in raising awareness against child abuse. I applaud the efforts of Divya Disha in also providing a safe shelter to children suffering from child abuse.
This should reach far and wide.
Sreedeep · November 4, 2017 at 4:33 am
I think there is far more awareness these days than before yet there are many sufferers out there. A child speaks up only when he/she is comfortable. Family provides the most comfort so when the father or the uncle is the molester, they turn to their mother or grandmother who probably don’t fully understand the reality of the situation. The child is often left to fend for themselves with no trusted soul around to speak to. Listening to a child is very important in these cases. Glad that Divya Disha is doing the right things in this regard.
Kala Ravi · November 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm
This campaign is need of the hour. We need to keep our children safe from predators, and sadly most predators are close family members. I do wish stricter laws were in place against this crime. Divya Disha needs all the support it can get.
Roshan · November 6, 2017 at 11:37 am
Definitely Sharing. A topic that needs to be discussed in the open.
Mahathi ramya · November 7, 2017 at 4:53 pm
Its very sad to read what these girls have gone through. Divya disha collaborating with Telangana police is doing a great job. Will share the post and break the silence.
Prasanna Raghavan · November 9, 2017 at 7:59 am
Hi, DD, the NGO group is doing a great job. Congratulations. In the case of Kerala, I hear a lot happening in this child-molestation area. Generally, there is a widespread apathy among family members-mothers, grandmothers etc- to sensitise the issue. They prioritise their own survival over the damages caused to the girls. This touches a lot of sensitive areas including economy, culture, social norms, gender, patriarchy, so on and so forth. And then the law and order, the legal system, politics of the rulers etc. In my personal opinion, a lot has to do with the female silence, on the one hand, imposed on them by the society, and then self-chosen. And a change would be the result of a collective effort. All the best.
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