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This NGO is teaching sex education
This NGO is teaching sex education about sexual abuse?

NEW DELHI. Every 15 minutes, at least one child is sexually abused in India, as per the National Crime Records Bureau. And let's not forget that millions of rape and abuse cases go unreported, especially in the case of children, as they rarely understand what is happening to them.

The country had barely recovered from the horror of the Kathua and Unnao rape cases when the recent news of a 2-year-old in Aligarh tortured and beaten to death for over eight hours shook it up again. Today, reports came of an 8-year-old raped and strangulated in Bhopal.

And such news is just the tip of the humungous iceberg of child abuse and child sexual abuse - something so hidden and rarely spoken about that there hardly seems a way to cut down the numbers anytime soon.

The POCSO Act (Prevention of Children from Sexual Offenses Act) passed in 2012 aimed at regulating even non-touch behaviour against children for the first time in India. But such laws are not prevention enough as the focus of the criminals becomes escaping the law. The solution is to teach the children about sex education and put the power in their hands.

Radhika Mittal, Director of the NGO Super School India, realised it long back and set to take matters in her own hands. She realised that the sexual abuse of a child not only damages the child's psyche in short and long terms, it also negatively impacts families, communities and the society.

Apart from free spoken and written English classes, a primary focus for this NGO is imparting sex education to children across all states and cities. One popular analogy that worked with the children was comparing tea to consent. For instance, if a child had a cup of tea with someone for two days but was refused on the third day, the refusal must be respected.

"We explained to them that forcing someone to have tea was not an option, and similarly, consent must be obtained for anything that involves another," says 30-year-old Radhika.
Radhika explains that child abuse can have many forms - it can be the physical maltreatment of a child such as hitting them or giving them extreme punishments like repeatedly making them do a single task till it becomes a traumatic experience.

But it also includes the mental maltreatment of a child such as verbal abuse, and the sexual molestation of a child, which can be physical such as child prostitution or non-physical ways such as showing porn to a child or speaking to a child sexually.

While child abuse can often be categorized as an active 'action' or something unlawful being done to the kid, it can also be the absence of an action by the relevant authority figures (parents, caregiver, legal authorities) who can help a child develop.(INPUT SOURCES INDIA TODAY)
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