Creating awareness on Child Sexual Abuse

Kohima, March 29 (DIPR): The Nagaland Adolescent Girls’ Club (NAGC) under the aegis of Nagaland State Social Welfare Board (NSSWB), in collaboration with the Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA), conducted awareness programmes in various schools in Kohima. The main focus was creating awareness on Child Sexual Abuse.

The schools visited by the NAGC were - Government Middle School (GMS) L. Khel, Kohima (March 9); Modern School, Kohima (March 11); and Bayavü School, Kohima (March 18). The awareness programs were attended by teachers in charge along with their students numbering around 150 in each school respectively.  

During the awareness drives, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme (save the girl child, educate her) was introduced to the students by Juliana R. Medom (Assistant State Coordinator, State Resource Centre for Women) and Vekhwüsalü Dawhuo (Assistant District Coordinator, Mission Poorna Shakti). In relation to the said Scheme, students were encouraged to empower themselves with education, and also to complete their schooling, and go for higher studies, because, “It is only when you are educated, you will be empowered.”  

In all these school awareness drives, Thejapfütuo Khezhie, panel lawyer, Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA) explained the legal perspectives on child sexual abuse and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) 2012 to the students gathered. He informed that out of 1 billion population in India, 40% are under the age of 18 years and the most alarming thing happening is that of this 40% population, 53% of children have experienced sexual abuse in one form or another. He also encouraged the students not to remain silent when such things happen to them, and always make it a point to share it with someone they trust and report to the police or call the Child Line toll free no 1098.  

Khezhie further elaborated three aspects of child sexual abuse:

1.    Sexual harassment

2.    Sexual assault and

3.    Penetrative sexual assault of a child  

He further told the students not to feel guilty if such things happen to them but to confide in someone they trust since it is not their fault. He informed that it is always the attacker who is at fault. Komal, the National Award winning movie on child sexual abuse by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India was screened at all the schools, following the speech.

  The awareness drives conducted have so far been successful in reaching out to the school children of Kohima. More schools will be visited in the near future in order to generate awareness amongst young students on this very serious issue.