NGOs, corporates, government bodies, schools and institutions across the country and around the world have joined hands to amplify conversations around child sexual abuse and its prevention during Child Safety Week 2020. Initiated by Arpan in 2019, Child Safety Week is a people-led movement to raise awareness and encourage collective action towards addressing the issue of child sexual abuse.
According to the National Child Abuse Study 2007, one of two children experiences some form of sexual abuse in India. It is therefore imperative to create awareness on its prevalence, impact and means to provide support and care to people who have been victims of this. Child Safety Week in 2019, saw 123 organisations come together to drive change. Over 90,000 pledges were taken and appeals were made for child safety. 196 activities took place during Child Safety Week, with our digital engagement reaching over 6 lakh people.
The objective of Child Safety week 2020 is to break the taboo around conversations on child sexual abuse and make such conversations mainstream through various digital media. The Child Safety Week will witness a host of online events, webinars and content on social media that will help create awareness on the issue. A campaign called #ItCanWeCan will also be launched with videos on the facts of child sexual abuse and how we can play a role in preventing it.
Expressing her views on the subject, Pooja Taparia, Founder & CEO Arpan said, “Arpan has been working on the issue of child sexual abuse for over 13 years and have empowered over 16 lakh people with messages of personal safety. We have seen that when people are given the knowledge and skills they can play a role in preventing child sexual abuse. It is time for all of us to come together and not just be bystanders to the issue of child sexual abuse but be a strong voice that sexual abuse of children is unacceptable. I am so glad to see the level of participation and know that this will snowball into a massive community-led movement in the years to come.”
Manjula Kalyanasundaram, Managing Director, SBI said, “SBI is proud to be a part of this movement to engage in conversations to prevent Child Sexual Abuse. We believe that every child deserves a safe and happy childhood and one key step in keeping children safe is to engage in conversations and empowering ourselves with the knowledge on how Child Sexual Abuse can be prevented.”
Manisha Arondekar, Principal of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan International School, Borivali and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya, Borivali said, “We have been teaching children personal safety as a part of the curriculum for over 10 years and have seen that when parents and children are aware, they are more vigilant and are better skilled to prevent Child Sexual Abuse. We believe that every adult and child should have access to this information and movements like Child Safety Week help in amplifying conversations around the issue.”
Dr. Lois Engelbrecht – Founder Trustee, Centre for Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse, Manila, Philippines said, “We are glad to be a part of Child Safety Week 2020. We think movements like these enable amplification of conversations around keeping children safe from sexual abuse not just in India but around the world. We hope that these conversations continue beyond Child Safety Week so that people can be more vigilant and proactive in their approach towards child safety.”
Child Safety Week marks its significance across three relevant days observed for children. 14th November – Children’s Day in India, 19th November – World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse and 20th November – International Children’s Day.
Some of the organisations participating in this movement include Corporates like Pizza Hut, Zee Learn, Education World, NGOs like HAQ, Leher, Rubaroo, Enfold, Counsel to Secure Justice, Majlis, Protsahan, Responsible Netism, Akanksha Foundation, Hands of Hope Foundation, One Future Collective, Educate Girls, Jai Vakeel Foundation, Kaivalya Education Foundation, Schools like Aditya Birla World Academy
and school networks such as Early Childhood Association amongst others. The movement is also drawing support from authors, actors from films and theatre as well, Vidya Balan, Rahul Bose, Lillute Dubey are all lending their support too. Organisations from across the world; USA, UK, Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Ghana, China have also joined in and lent their support.
To know more about child safety visit https://childsafetyweek.in/