What is CSA?
CSA stands for Child Sexual Abuse. It's the use of children for sexual gratification-either by an adult or by an older or more powerful child. Both girls and boys are vulnerable to CSA. Studies by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India have repeatedly shown that two out of every three children have been physically abused and more than 50% reported one or more forms of sexual abuse.
What are the types of CSA?
Sexual abuse can be by way of touching and non-touching behaviour. All forms of sexual contact, from fondling to penetration fall under the classification of touching behaviour. Non-touching behaviour could include encouraging a child to watch sexual acts or pornography, exhibitionism, voyeurism etc. Playing sexual games such as 'pants-down' can also be construed as CSA.
Why does CSA largely go undetected?
Children more often than not don't report abuse out of fear – whether it's under threat or due to feeling of guilt and shame. The fear of not being believed is also very real.
How do I identify potential CSA?
There are several warning signals that can alert you to potential sexual predators. Showing undue affection and attention to a child or an insistence on hugging, kissing or otherwise touching the child is an instant red flag. If someone constantly tries to get alone time with a child or frequently invades the child's privacy, by say walking in on her in the bathroom, it should warn you to take preventive action. Go with your gut feel; if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
How do I keep my child safe?
Explain to your child the difference between good touch and bad touch. Tell them that it's OK to say 'no' if they are uncomfortable with someone touching them. Teach them to get away from the person as fast as possible and call for help. Most importantly, tell them not to be afraid and that it's not their fault.