As circumstances make us aware of problems as society, we need to take steps to protect our children from abuse at hands of sexual fiends.
Kathua, Unnao, Etah, Indore, the cases of rape against minors seems to be suddenly on the rise. The brutal outrage of modesty of minors across the nation has stirred a national outrage resulting in mass protests, vigils and outcries.
The judicial machinery is still deliberating upon the charges levied/ to be levied against the perpetrators or the judgements that need to be decreed, but we as a nation cannot await another Kathua, Unnao, Indore or Etah to happen before national conscience strikes again.
We need to act. Act fast.
People are beginning to understand and talk about how sex offenders can be a friend or a family member. People are getting aware how the famous, powerful, and revered too can be offenders.
As circumstances make us more aware of the problems as a society, we need to take steps to protect our children from further abuse at the hands of predators and sexual fiends.
Here are ten ways to protect your children from predators.
Encourage children to talk to you: It is obvious children will not know when to say ‘no’ or run away from an adult. This would be too confusing for them. Instead, build trust by regularly talking to them about their day and making them comfortable raising any topic around you. If your children report any unacceptable behaviour, it is your responsibility to take action.
Get educated on sexual abuse: Research has shown that 1 out of 6 girls get molested by the age of 18 and a typical sexual predator will assault 117 times before being caught. Knowing the facts is of vital importance. Educate yourself about sexual abuse.
Look for the Red Flags: Sex offenders often ‘groom’ parents and children to gain their trust. They can be very smart and fool you into believing they are trustworthy, but there is always a "red flag" that is just a little bit unusual.
For example, an adult with too many toys and video games in his house where several local kids go every day is a possible red flag. If he doesn't seem to have any adult friends or activities, this is a bigger red flag. Paedophilia should not be entertained.
Know the whereabouts of your children and their company: Be friendly enough with your children that they tell you where they are or with whom. Know your children's friends and their parents. Make sure they are reliable before you allow your child to spend time at their house.
Make sure there are multiple chaperones for groups of youngsters: There should always be more than one adult with any group of children. Offer to chaperone activities for youth. Get to know other chaperones well. Adults should confront any suspicious activity of another adult. Don't just let it slide. Often, secrecy and difficulty in talking about these issues are some of the best tools a sex offender has.
Make children aware that the danger may come from someone they know: Make children aware of ‘good touch and bad touch’, "Bad touch is bad touch and no one gets to do it to our bodies.” They should know that if someone touches them inappropriately they have to go to an adult and complain.
Find therapy for victims: All victims of sexual abuse should have easy access to therapy. If a school has similar facilities, endorse them there or seek help from a professional counsellor.
Understand the signs: Abuse does not necessarily mean broken bones or a black eye and swollen lips. It can be something extremely cerebral as well. Adults should be knowledgeable about the signs that children are in need of counseling. These signs might be significant changes in sleeping, eating, mood, or strange behaviour that does not quickly go away.
Take action if you suspect abuse: If you suspect that your child has been abused, do not hesitate to contact the police or social services.
Support Research, create awareness: Those treating victims and sex offenders must be appropriately trained in the most up-to-date methods. Support sex offender research, training, and management by raising the issue in your community and making people aware.