TAMIL NADU

Empowering the community against child sexual abuse

Staff Reporter



Community urged to unite to fight the menace

“Much of the violence against children was due to ignorance”



CHENNAI: Elements of street theatre and mime were woven together by members of the Karunalaya Social Service Society to convey the violence of child sexual abuse here on Sunday.

Distraught children and parents are often shrugged aside by an insensitive police force, leading to denial of justice, according to ‘Creative Expressions’ – the show aimed at empowering the community against child sexual abuse.

N. Paul Sunder Singh, director of the Karunalaya Social Service Society, recalled that a survey undertaken by the organisation in north Chennai sometime ago had revealed that about 70 per cent of children were abused by those in the immediate neighbourhood, roughly 37 per cent at their schools and about the same percentage at home. Several hundred children and their mothers from north Chennai participated in the event, held to mark the International Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse that falls on Monday.

Opinions shared

After watching the performance, in which incidents of child abuse by perpetrators across age and gender were narrated, the participants shared their opinions. Teenagers Asha, Srilekha and Shyamala told the gathering to put fear behind them when dealing with cases of child abuse. The lack of awareness among parents and children was exacerbating the problem. Members of the community, including children, must unite to fight the menace of together, they said.

Educationist S.S. Rajagopalan said much of the violence against children was due to ignorance. In this context, sex education becomes imperative. Police apathy and insensitivity and the lack of interest in formulating legislation to protect children were other reasons for child abuse going unpunished.

Children’s Code

The Children’s Code, compiling legislation for children, was drafted by a committee headed by V.R. Krishna Iyer, former judge of Supreme Court in 2000. It is yet to be taken up for discussion. Don Bosco Youth Centre Rector Sundar Raj spoke.

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