Nearly 350 children in the age group of six and 10 got to know the difference between a safe and unsafe touch as part of the ‘Touch’ programme. It is a programme on child sexual abuse education and is an initiative of Anugraha Educational Trust to end it.
Children of Nachiyar Vidyalayam School in Pollachi were trained on this and many more aspects relating to child sexual abuse by trainers from the Anugraha Educational Trust and Anugraha Mandhir School who are implementing the programme.
“With an aim to make children recognise an unsafe touch and guard themselves against it, the trainers used aid like activity sheets, video clippings and also presented scenarios that had cases of adults interacting with children to find out from them which of those were good and bad touches,” A.L. Shobaa, Trustee of the Trust, said.
“Trainers played animation CDs that displayed five or six real life day-to-day scenarios of chid sexual abuse. After each incident, volunteers asked the children if there was anything wrong in the depiction. They were made to understand the right perception and also given tips on protecting them in similar situations.
The activity sheets had drawings or pictures of certain poses, such as a mother kissing a child, a stranger kissing a child and offering a toffee, etc. Using these, the children were taught to differentiate between the right touch and the wrong one,” she added.
Once they were made to realise what a safe and unsafe touch was, children were told how to protect themselves against an unsafe touch.
They were told that it involved three important steps – when the child felt uncomfortable, he had to “shout’ to attract the attention to people nearby, or “run away”, or “inform a safe adult”.
Children were also made to understand how to identify a safe adult and who could possibly be safe adults, from the family, and from outside the family too.
Teachers of the school were also oriented to continue the child sexual abuse awareness forward.
The Trust is planning to organise similar programmes in other schools. It also organises ‘Train the Trainer’ programmes.
Those interested, can contact 93600-97005.