Every minute there is a child being abused, raped or killed not very far from you. Child Abuse is not gender specific.
Social activist and politician Apsara Reddy brought together hundreds of citizens on a Sunday Morning for a “Rally against child abuse”. Chief Guest for the morning Deputy Commissioner (Crimes Against Women and Children) H Jayalakshmi said, “Children are the future and my department under the guidance of commissioner AK Viswanathan sir ensures that we sensitise our team to emotionally and also physically handle crimes against children. We have a zero tolerance towards crimes against children. All angles of abuse and neglect are looked into. We employ the best practices from around the world in ensuring children related crimes are handled with due care and diligence. Our All Women Police Stations have Child counsellor and all police officers working there are trained consistently on handling sensitive crimes,” she said as hundreds of students and women cheered on.
Apsara Reddy who has earlier worked on child abuse cases as a social activist said, “our society needs to look at child abuse as a human rights issue. It can happen in any home and there is no real profile of a perpetrator. Ever so often there are cases of the own father or uncle molesting a child. We must teach children to communicate openly, ask for help and understand that they haven’t done anything wrong. Construct of shame is always centred around the victim and it’s family. Instead shame should shift on the perpetrator. As a society we must stand by the family of the victim and not just offer lip sympathy.”
She adds, “Child Abuse has no gender preference. Boys too face the brunt of barbaric mindset’s and often suffer lifelong consequences and scars. Doctors who examine children have a special role that’s higher than that of parents. They must examine symptoms of abuse or rape. They must also alert authorities. Those in the medical line dealing with children everyday must have direct access to child protection officers.”
Members of FICCI FLO, Lions Club and various transgender organisations took part in the rally. Slogans were raised to safeguard children and punish to the perpetrators. Various student leaders from across party lines joined hands with Apsara Reddy to show solidarity towards rape victims.
Expats from various corporate companies participated. Bruce Schwak, said, “The child protection task can’t be one that police alone undertakes. Society must also be active agents in protecting children. We must report anything suspicious and ensure we draw the attention of authorities.”