Child Sexual abuse is the least talked about crime in our society. It appears that we have erected walls around this subject...walls so thick that, nothing can breach them; not even the cries of the victims.
Family’s shame and honour, often compromises the position of a child. S/he has to suffer in silence pretending like the others around him that nothing happened. And even if it happened, it was unfortunate, but as nothing could be done, so let’s forget it and move on. But moving on for a child who had scars of abuse is the most difficult of all the things. The physical scars may heal with time. But the psychological trauma is something with which he has to live with for the rest of his life. In the absence of counselling, children often develop a defensive mechanism which either makes them aggressive and hostile towards the other, intimidating and sexually abusing younger children or they get detached from reality, sink into depression and get into the habit of harming their own self.
Looking at the issue, there are two level of interventions required.
The first level requires raising awareness on broad scale about the issue; educating parents, teachers, community as a whole, duty bearers (People from the Education, Social Welfare, Police department, Lawyers, etc.) Media should be used in disseminating information about this topic. Talk shows can focus on this issue, and instead of making it sensational and jaw dropping, attention should be given to making it informative.
The second level of intervention is establishing a referral system, how and where to report the abuse, and what to expect in form of a response. A district level referral system is required, to work in collaboration with the social welfare department, police, and district level hospital. Judicial system should be put into the loop to provide speedy justice to the victims and their families.
With your support we could launch campaign, emphasizing on child rights. Pakistan has ratified the UN convention on Child Rights; we even have a bill on child protection, waiting to be passed by the national assembly. Join us in extending the supporting hand and breaking the silent walls.