Counselling Cell-Directorate of School Education, Jammu in collaboration with District Child Protection Unit Jammu, Child Line India Foundation, and District Child Welfare Committee organized a panel discussion as part of month long awareness campaign on Child Protection from sexual abuse cum POCSO Act-2012. The event was attended online by 500 participants and approximately 3500 on facebook page.
Ms. P.D Nitya (IPS) SP North-Jammu, Ms. Shalini Sharma chairperson CWC Jammu, Ms. Manjiri Singh Sr. Programme coordinator Childline India Foundation, Dr Surinder Kumar (Sociologist) and Ms. Ravneet kour (Child psychologist) from Nurture and Cherish acted as resource persons. Romesh Kumar Head counselling cell moderated the panel discussion.
As per National Crime Record Bureau’s report has crimes against children has increased by 4.5 per cent in 2019 as compared to 2018, as many as 1,48,185 crimes against children were reported in 2019 in the country. Child abuse cases are rising for the last few years but during lockdown the number rose shockingly as reported by news agencies.
Anuradha Gupta, Director School Education Jammu in her opening remarks said, the issue comes in direct purview of the department as we are directly dealing with the children. The intensity of such cases is more than what is reported because of the taboo surrounding reporting, identity of perpetrator and ignorance about child rights. It hinders overall development of the child. I feel such sensitization will help us in building atmosphere of confidence to prepare the child for reporting, acknowledgement of child rights by parents especially mothers and ways to deal with it with a word of caution that we should not be over suspicious, she added.
An order has already been issued by DSEJ directing Psychological taskforce members to sensitize students, teachers, and parents about POCSO Act, Mother specific PTMs have also been proposed to make them aware about the nuances of Child sexual abuse. Further Special sessions with PRIs in all the 10 districts of Jammu division is also one of the major activities planned in the month of November, 2020.
“Due COVID-19 lockdown children have become more vulnerable to sexual abuse as in most of cases the accused are someone known or trusted family member” said Romesh Kumar Head counselling Cell at Directorate of School Education Jammu. He while speaking on the occasion, touched various topics like Psychological impact of the Child sexual abuse, reasons why the child does not disclose the abuse. He requested all the stakeholders to work as single unit to address this menace.
Ms. P.D Nitya (IPS) SP North-Jammu informed about various mechanisms of reporting like dialing 100, through email or childline, redressal, sensitization of police officers for handling the child abuse, juvenile cases.
Ms. Shalini Sharma chairperson CWC Jammu spoke about various features of POCSO act 2012 whereas Dr. Surinder talked about psychosocial interventions to curb this heinous crime.
Ms. Manjiri Singh Sr. Programme coordinator Childline India Foundation talked about the role of childline in addressing cases of abuse. Ms. Ravneet kour (Child psychologist) from nurture and cherish talked about her experience in handling such cases.
Pertinently Counselling cell, DSEJ through faculty counselors has recently conducted a month long group counselling sessions on various child rights issues.