This Campaign Shows How to Talk to Your Child About Sexual Abuse
Every 15 minutes, a child is sexually abused in India, shows government data. It remains one of the darkest secrets of our society. But recent conversations aim to shine light on the issue.
A mother who shares a strong bond with her son would believe her child is sharing everything with her. Threaded together with candid and intimate moments, a video narrates the story of one such mother-son duo. If there are behavioural changes in the child, parents unintentionally tend to ignore, considering it normal signs of the child acting out. But this video tells you to stop and pay attention.
The video is part of a newly launched campaign #JoinTheDots, which aims to educate parents on how to be vigilant of their child’s changing behaviour. The initiative by ActionAid India focuses on preventing the incidence of abuse as well as encourages adults to address such violence by making the effort to See, Listen and Act.
To initiate a conversation with your child, be it about sexual abuse or otherwise, whether or not they’ve gone through the ordeal, can be tricky. A topic like sexual abuse can only be brought up when you first have general conversations with your kid – that’s what this tool initiates. Asking direct questions without providing them with a safe space can further scare them.
So, this interactive tool can be used to start an active conversation between the parent and the child, where both are participating and it doesn’t become an interrogation. It involves playing a game of bingo with your child which then throws up some innocuous questions at every step. These questions are fairly straightforward but can begin an open talk where you can understand what your child is feeling or going through.
The tool can be accessed on the website: www.jointhedotsnow.com.
Parents and guardians have to encourage a culture of regular communication with their child and be vigilant to acknowledge hints. This would help prevent or tackle any incidences of abuse, with the child’s best interests in mind.
The campaign received support from various celebrities like Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das and Anupam Kher.
(ActionAid India is an agency standing in solidarity with vulnerable communities in India since 1972. It currently works in 25 States and one Union Territory, with more than 250 partners and allied organisations.)