Continuing from my previous post about Good touch, bad touch, I wish to extend the conversation. Every single day when I open the newspaper or switch on the television, I am bombarded with disturbing news of rape and murder and some very disparaging comments as well.
A playschool owner’s husband drugged and raped two 3-year-old girls. A 6-year-old boy was raped and killed by a male friend of the family and left in a field in Karnataka. A 13-year-old orphan girl was repeatedly raped by her maternal uncle and is now 29 weeks pregnant. She is very weak and due to the late stage of her pregnancy, it cannot be terminated. Her life is in danger if she gives birth. And the list goes on.
It makes me sick to the stomach that each of these crimes is committed on children. Children who are vulnerable and don’t even understand what has happened to them. In my last post, I shared how it helps that we speak to our children about the right touch and keep communication lines open so that the child approaches us if a stranger acts weirdly. But, what happens if the person molesting the child is a known person: a friend of the family, a relative, the child’s own father? What does one do and how does one prepare the child as well as ourselves to deal with it?
Some statistics reveal that most of the rapes take place by a person close to the family or known or related to the victim. In such a case, the trauma is deeper. There is a breach of trust involved along with physical and emotional violation. How should we deal with a situation like this?
When I read about the case of a French diplomat who was accused of raping his own 3-year-old daughter, the media coverage was brutal. The police machinery, law and the society all seemed to be in a denial mode. Of course, a father cannot do something like this to his daughter, they said. And, it is a family matter, so they must resolve it within closed doors is what the police and society feel. I am not about to understand what is the psychology of a pervert who indulges in such heinous acts. I just wish to understand how as people we must deal with it.
The first step would be to listen to the child carefully and watch their behavior. It might be difficult for us to accept that someone close to us – a husband, uncle, father, and friend could be doing so. But, a child will never make something like this up. So, be tuned.
The first step is in acceptance that the incident has indeed happened. The next step is to bring it to light. Do not shield the person to avoid family shame. Naming and shaming is the most feasible option available. If it is your husband, you need to walk away with your child. Confide in your friends, relatives or family but get away. You need to get the police involved quickly as well. If it is some other relative or friend, the entire family including any extended family must be told and the person reprimanded and barred from visiting the house. The perpetrator must be suitably punished by reporting to the police.
It has been seen that sexual offenders will likely repeat the act unless punished and incarcerated. Pedophiles are sexual offenders, and they must never be shielded by family or society no matter what your relationship with the perpetrator or his/her status in society. As far as stopping these crimes are concerned, it can only happen if we are more aware and vigilant. Yet crimes happen. And, it is important that the victim, the child, gets the best possible help from a psychologist or counselor as well as firm support from their family.
What would you do in a similar situation?
Rachna Parmar is an avid blogger, a passionate cook, fitness enthusiast, loving wife, and mom to two feisty sons and a Labrador! She is also a Freelance Content Writer and an entrepreneur. She co-owns her startup, Tranquil Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Reach her at http://rachnaparmar.com or @rachnaparmar her twitter handle.