Programmes to Combat Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is not only the violation of child’s body but also of the trust implicit in a caregiving relationship. This violation can have a significant impact on how the child, as a victim and later on as an adult survivor, sees and experiences the world. The effects of child sexual abuse can be damaging, but are not permanent if appropriate support is provided to the victim and his/her stakeholders. The National Study on Child Abuse (2007), which is the largest of its kind, observed that 53 per cent of the children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse victims experience short and long term negative outcomes that affect their daily functioning. Symptoms can extend far into adulthood and largely impact domains of relationships and sexuality. An adult survivor might find it difficult to form and sustain trusting relationships and may experience repeated or additional victimisation in relationships along with confusion about sexual identity. A few adult survivors of child sexual abuse may become offenders themselves.
Despite being a grim reality that touches the life of 40-50 per cent of children in India, there are very few organisations that are working to prevent and care for victims of child sexual abuse in a focused manner.
Arpan is one of the largest NGOs of its kind that aims to empower children, teachers, parents, NGO professionals and other caregivers with the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to prevent instances of child sexual abuse and to also provide adequate support to children who have been victims. Along with empowering relevant stakeholders, Arpan also offers psychotherapeutic support through trained, qualified therapists to children and adult survivors of sexual abuse and their families.
The Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation has supported Arpan in its programmes to combat child sexual abuse. The programmes included a school-based initiative called Personal Safety Education, training of teachers to address cases of child sexual abuse at the school level, as well as trauma counselling for survivors of abuse in institutions, shelters, orphanages and remand homes.
Arpan is a Mumbai-based NGO that works with the issue of child sexual abuse. Since 2006, Arpan’s team of dedicated and skilled professionals has directly reached out to over 50,000 children and adults and indirectly to over 1,70,000 individuals. Currently, Arpan’s work is based on a child-centric model of intervention in the area of child sexual abuse with a balanced emphasis on prevention and healing components. The NGO also reaches out to adult survivors of child sexual abuse and supports them in order to prevent re-victimisation as well as to enable them to heal from its aftermath.
The Foundation’s support has enabled Arpan to demonstrate a pioneering program on child sexual abuse. Personal Safety Education in schools has a massive outreach and develops the capabilities of both students and teachers to address the issue in a informed manner