Alarmingly high number of child sexual abuse cases have come to surface in Pakistan during recent months, particularly in Kasur. Children in Pakistan are falling prey to this heinous crime, one after the other which is a serious cause of concern.
Why do some many perpetrators get away with this evil crime?
Abusers know that children are scared to report such incidents to their parents and this is how they exploit them. They purposefully instill fear into the minds of children in order to save themselves from getting caught.
It is the job of the caregivers to create an environment where children would not feel the need to hide anything from them. And for this reason, it is necessary that children are encouraged to develop a bond of trust and confidence with their parents and other adult caregivers.
Many children become victims of child sexual abuse by their house help. Unfortunately, in many cases even if children do report, their parents often try to hush up the issue in the name of “honour.”
On other occasions, relatives themselves are involved in abusing children of their own family. This is among the worst scenarios because many documented stories reveal that even if the incident is brought to the knowledge of parents, they become hesitant to take proper action, just to “save family ties.”
What can we do to protect our children against child sexual abuse in Pakistan?
Teach children about good and bad touch
Parents need to discuss with their children about the concepts of good and bad touch. Elders in Pakistan seldom discuss this topic with their young ones, since it is considered a taboo. It is this hesitation that is exploited by the hyenas who sexually violate children.
Look for changes in your child’s behavior
Every parent should be very cautious about any significant changes, especially fear, in their child’s behavior. In case of any change in the child’s behavior, it is important to inquire very politely about the cause of change.
A child who is being abused may feel guilty, ashamed or confused. He or she may be afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, especially if the abuser is a relative or family friend. That is why it is vital to watch for red flags, such as:
- Withdrawal from friends or usual activities.
- Changes in behavior — such as aggression, anger, hostility or hyperactivity or changes in school performance.
- Depression, anxiety or unusual fears, or a sudden loss of self-confidence.
- Rebellious or defiant behavior.
- Self-harm or attempts at suicide.
- They might avoid being alone with certain people, such as family members or friends.
- They could seem frightened of a person or reluctant to socialize with them.
Consult a child psychologist
If a child exhibits most of the above mentioned points, contact a child psychologist who may further help understand why the child might be behaving that way and identify if there are any warning signs.