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Title: Child Abusive Awareness
Headline: Most child abuse is committed by the person a child trusts

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As part of it’s committment to combat CSA from all directions (literally), we are organizing a special interactive session with the support group for members of the  “Swikriti”with whom we have a long-standing association.
All details are provided below and all are welcome to attend and provide input or just listen.

Interactive session between Elaan and Swikriti on Saturday April 12th from 5:00 pm onwards at the Elaan office ; IB 150 Salt Lake Sector III, Calcutta 700 105
SUB : Sexuality and Sexual Abuse – A convenient taboo ?
As part of it’s campaign to involve all existing facets of society in the “Combat Child Sexual Abuse” awareness and intervention programme, Elaan invites members of Swikriti and of it’s own organization to an interactive session on the above.
The objective is to bring forward some of the common problems faced by organizations and activists in context with encouraging solidarity and awareness on the issues of sexual abuse and sexuality, which although different subjects, share a common tag of social ostracization and stigma between them.
Through this discussion we hope to establish common grounds for solution-based plans which may be used for future awareness events.
The total duration of the interactive session would be 90 minutes, inclusive of tea.

We would be appreciative if you could revert with the names and contact details of your friends and associates who will be attending by Wednesday April 9th. All queries may be directed to 98741 35992.

There are no entry fees for this session. All are welcome.

Recent news stories about sexual abuse of children in Alexandria and elsewhere should do more than make us disgusted and angry.
It should make us act.

Consider something that happened in Duluth about a year ago: A 70-year-old man was arrested for sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl who was being cared for at a child care business run by the man and his wife.
When an investigator asked the man, “Why a child?” The man replied, “Because it’s easy.”

Sadly, statistics indicate just how “easy” it is: More than 39,000 sexual assaults are estimated to be committed each year in Minnesota — the majority against children. One in four girls and one in six boys will have been abused by the age of 18. Some estimates put the number of childhood sexual abuse survivors in America at 39 million.

But there are things a community and families can do to make it harder for individuals to sexually abuse children. Ted Thompson, executive director of the National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children, offered this advice in a Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota newsletter:

• We can make prevention of childhood sexual abuse a public policy priority. We can call legislators and prosecutors to express outrage at abuse. It would greatly enhance our ability to expose offenders if we would eliminate statutes of limitations, both criminal and civil, for the sexual abuse of children.

• We can educate our communities. People need to know that sexual abuse of children by someone known to the child is exceedingly more likely to happen than the more high-profile, but rarer, stranger-abduction and rape.

• We can come forward and address abuse we know about or suspect. It is likely in most cases that someone knows abuse is happening and needs to have the courage to come forward. Because sexual abuse is often perpetrated by people we know, this can be difficult.

• We can improve our ability to educate families and professionals to prevent as well as recognize, report and respond to abuse. We need to provide model curriculum to prepare professionals to recognize abuse; and understand that factors such as substance abuse, poverty and unemployment can significantly contribute to the risk of children being sexually abused.

• Parents can communicate with their children every day. We can teach children that sexual advances from anyone, including other family members, are not OK, and also teach them how to conduct themselves in sexually appropriate ways with others.

The province of Manitoba will today bring forward the first legislation of its kind in Canada to compel all citizens, including computer technicians and Internet service providers, to report any images or examples of child pornography.
The initiative is being introduced as an amendment to the province’s Child and Family Services legislation by minister Gord MacIntosh and will expand the definition of child abuse, which already has a mandatory reporting law, to include child pornography.
“Under the new law, if someone comes across something they believe to be child pornography they have a duty to report it to Cybertip.ca,” said Lianna McDonald , director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the registered charity that runs the Cybertip website.
The penalty for failing to report will be up to two years in jail and a $50,000 fine, Ms. McDonald said. It’s the same penalty for those who don’t report child abuse, although Ms. McDonald said she doesn’t know of any instances where that provision has led to a prosecution.
“What it means is that under the proposed legislation, [citizens] have a legal responsibility,” she said. “The idea is to facilitate reporting.”
Ms. McDonald said that making it a legal requirement might remove some of the moral qualms that exist for those who find images of abuse on a computer, for example, and might be concerned about violating someone’s privacy.
“It certainly will facilitate things for people thinking, ‘Should I or shouldn’t I report?’ It makes it clear. For companies that repair computers, it’s clear they have a duty to report,” she said.
The proposed law could have significant implications for Internet service providers, according to Roz Prober of Beyond Borders, an organization that advocates for the protection of children.
It’s already mandatory in the United States for Internet service providers to report instances of child pornography, but the issue has not been tackled in Canada until now.
“The foot-draggers in this scenario are the Internet service providers,” Ms. Prober said. “In the U.S. they can be heavily fined [for not reporting child porn] and I think that’s the way to go here.”
Ms. Prober said she hasn’t seen the proposed legislation but expects it to be comprehensive.
Citizens will be directed to report their suspicions to the Cybertip.ca website. The site receives funding from the federal Department of Public Safety and from Manitoba Justice, Ms. McDonald said, and since 2005 it has acted as a national clearinghouse for all Internet child sexual-abuse reporting. In that time, it has received more than 25,000 reports from the public.
Ms. Prober said the site is very sophisticated and secure and would be able to resist attempts to infiltrate its database.
She said it’s important the public pass on as many tips as possible because each new image allows police to narrow in on the victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse

URL – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071128.wmanitoba28/BNStory/National/home/

Do visit the website and have a look through the comments section. I find that most insightful, more than the article actually !

Ongoing discussion – http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=24455884&tid=2568922879391121981&na=4

A young Adivasi girl was stripped and photographed running for protection as onlookers whipped out their ever-handy camera phones and took photographs, videos and mms clips.. another sign of technology at it’s mis-used best.

One wouldn’t consider this as Sexual Abuse really.

Look again.

Publicly exposing a young girl – she was completely naked.
The onlookers did not have good intentions on their minds when they were taking those photographs.

Further information –

We do not have concrete proof of this yet but it is alleged that the girl was sexually assaulted. Given the circumstances, it is not impossible.

Shame on whoever is responsible for this. We refuse to upload the currently available photograph of the girl for reasons of journalistic integrity.

It is unfortunate that even the most widely-circulated Kolkata daily, “The Telegraph” did not blur out her face, even though it blur out her personal body parts.

When ?

Yesterday

There’s nothing remotely new or shocking about the concept of teachers taking advantage of students.

You might want to educate yourself to the fact that some students try taking advantage of teachers as well.

Teachers have crushes on students and vice versa (Dylan anyone?)..

Murshidabad URL – http://telegraphindia.com/1071108/asp/bengal/story_8525018.asp

Orkut has been duly updated for comments and input.

I recall a particularly handsome male tutor-slash-musician-slash-relative whom i never crushed on personally (too old), but my friends went nuts over him like he was Jim Morrison. It was silly the way they’d queue up to go to his classes just to sit and stare at him while he taught ( he was a good teacher btw), some people even claimed that he reciprocated their emotions. Yuch.

Then there was another female tutor. Lord help anyone who got on the wrong side of her at any time of the day. She gave “volatile” a new dimension altogether, but for money and male students, it was all toned down to a degree that although there wasn’t a free show on in front of your face, you just knew something was wrong.

There’s a teacher at a famously “vigilant” college who is famed for more than his erm, educational prowness. Everyone knows. The girls blog and write odes to him quite shamelessly. 🙂
There’s another teacher at the same college who has a reputation for a little more than just odes on a blog by a student. No matter how many insults i get for writing this, i will do so – student-teacher abuse.

When are student-teacher relationships non-abusive ?

For one, when both are adults! Preferably when they are not in that uncomfortable hierarchy of “me teacher, you student” and that creates an automatic imbalance in the relationship, like it or not. Keeping it out of the classroom would help.

The team was awoken from it’s mid-week stupor by a group of young (ok not-so-young!) video bloggers from Channel [V] Mumbai.

The team was in the city, shooting for a documentary series titled “My India Report” or MIR, which is on air from November [Thursdays 7:30pm only on Channel [v]!!].
URL : http://www.myindiareport.in

What interested us about the concept was –

Youth-to-youth interaction
Free speech (ah!) 🙂
Current issues in focus
Common target groups

Pujarini, Shreya, Rohit, Vijay and yours truly responded to the team’s intelligent questions and at points, i think we developed a heightened respect for each other’s self-confidence, esp’ Pujarini’s “virginity” response!

Credit goes to the [V] team for asking offbeat questions on Sex education and allowing us to speak freely on relevant topics such as CSA, Incest, Law and CSA, Virginity, Sex, Marriage, Politics, Education and a plethora of other matters that DO affect our generation.

Azhar wrote a lovely account of his experience in Kolkata here – http://www.myindiareport.in/2007/09/21/sexual-abuse-hiv-and-the-city-of-joy

We’re waiting for the first Kolkata episode of MIR now, and are hoping fervently, that we haven’t messed up!

Thank you to Azhar and the Channel [V] team for a memorable evening. 🙂

We hosted our first workshop of the year at our new office on Saturday April 7th. Those in attendance numbered 12, as we’re concerned with the impact/triggering probability of our sessions and would ideally like to keep the participant number under 15.
The workshop was titled CSA and Incest Awareness in the Indian Context.
It was inclusive of –
A film screening (which we later realized was a mood-spoiler)
A number of “chit” games
A mini-lecture and a few case studies from Achin, our very own criminal lawyer
Debates and myth-busters from facilitators and participants
Teamwork
A concluding poster-making activity where 4 groups were asked to bring forward the learnings of the day’s workshop in the Social, Legal, Familial and Religious context.
Lunch was partaken of during the film screening.
The next workshop will be on DWD or Dealing with Disclosure of abuse and trauma. elaanspeak@yahoo.co.in for further details.
Enjoy the photographs, courtesy Bidisha 🙂

There are a good number of organizations in the US that are actively tackling not only CSA but other related issues by building teams and creating community-centered initiatives that are active in schools, colleges, community halls, clubs and public places.

Courtesy Askios’s excellent and timely updates on news about CSA awareness, here’s a link that i liked very much.

www.whatwillittake.org – excellent resources and information on building an initiative to tackle violence against women and girls.

what i liked most about this was the fact that they include men in the decision-making and participatory process, something which Elaan is also doing actively through sensitizing, involving and speaking with boys and men about CSA and related issues.

I don’t know Paromita from The Hindu personally as yet, but this article definitely took guts to print.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/life/2005/01/07/stories/2005010700110300.htm

Lois is someone who has had an impact on research and healing techniques, and also on me (Chennai Feb 2007) . Her contribution to the field of CSA and Incest awareness in India has been immense and we look forward to hosting her sometime in the near future.

Why is it so difficult to acknowledge the obvious ? Sex is a natural process. If it remains shrouded in secrecy it will have adverse consequences as it already has.

The recent Nithari update is that Moninder Singh Pandher is to be let off, innocent of all charges while his servant and accomplice, Surendra, is to take the blame.

It would be helpful to mention here that had there been legislation against CSA and Incest, acts like Moninders and people with his rap sheet would be serving terms without question or debate.

The Blog

Elaan is an NGO dealing with Child Sexual Abuse issues.

Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and Incest are painful and unprovoked acts of violation. In India, where subjects relating to sex and personal safety are not discussed, the issue is shrouded in secrecy as the prevalence of abusive acts increases. The objective of this blog is to encourage reading, debate and constructive awareness implementation methods via the 'blogosphere.'

* Feel free to leave comments or SPEAK-OUT here!