Statistics show that over 8000 children get raped in India every year. Wonder how many get sexually abused and yet the state is unwilling to include sex education in schools. Perhaps it is because it is thought that this would not make a difference.
An incident occurred recently and showed how well planned, age appropriate and straightforward sex education could contain this shameful crime.
A young seven year old who was born and brought up outside India and thus had been taught age appropriate sexual education reacted firmly when he felt that that his body was being ‘invaded’ . Actually it was far from that as he was just being asked to have a bath and he did not want to but to his mind it was his body and we respect that thought. In ‘good touch bad touch’ classes young children are taught to take ownership of their bodies and can only be touched if it OK with them. This very simple lesson could save many children from abuse. Abusers play on fear and silence, the moment these are taken away the perpetrator loses his power.
These lessons should be taught in schools and part of the curriculum. But that is not the case in India.
Good Touch Bad Touch may be taught in schools for the privileged that have counsellors. Classes are run by professionals but came at a price. And above all parents are aware and thus able to help the child. But that is not the case in state run schools and poor homes where sex is taboo.
Child abuse is not confined to the odd criminal deranged mind. These exist but the real abuse comes from within the homes or the neighbourhood where a firm NO can do the trick.
How long will children have to wait and how many more children will be abused before the penny drops.