She told her parents about the ‘bad uncle’ in school and they took immediate action.
“She showed marks of attacks on her body, but when she showed marks on her private parts, her parents realised things were serious. Much more serious,” reads Times of India .
This isn’t ‘yet another case’ and we must not dismiss it so easily. If the 3-year-old Bangalore nursery student’s story tells us anything, it’s that we need to be careful at all times. But we also need to find a way to make our children talk to us.
While it is very difficult to help one’s child recover from a sexual assault, an act they cannot even fathom, there are some steps adults can take to understand a child’s needs.
Childline, a helpline (1098) in India that aims to help children cope with abuse, made this short film aptly titled ‘Komal’ to educate children about the threat of sexual assault.
This film makes a few very valid points that adults often overlook when it comes to the child’s safety.
Some of them are:
1. The abuser can be ANYONE. You cannot trust anyone you love with your child.
2. The abuser might try and form a secret relationship with a child. He or she may pose as the child’s ‘secret keeper’.
3. The abuser will try and find a time or place where they are completely isolated. So tell your child to not be alone in a locked room with anyone.
4. If abused, your child may show signs of guilt or unusual behaviour. In some cases the children are too young to understand that they’re being exploited. Please monitor their relationships with other adults or even older children.
5. The abuser can be of any sex. There is no difference between a man or a woman. (A point that the film may have missed.)
6. Also, abuse is not only experienced by girl children. Your son or brother can also be abused. Please be just as sensitive about it and not dismiss it as an ‘incident’.