CHILD SAFE GUARDING LESSON
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
CLASS VI-VIII (CHILDREN 11 TO 13 YEARS OF AGE)
- Concept of No Touch and methods to stay safe: Children are introduced to basic rules they need to follow to protect themselves and keep their bodies safe.
- Child Sexual abuse: in a simple and age-appropriate way children are introduced to the concept of child sexual abuse which is presented as a punishable offence.
- POCSO Act, 2012: Children explore in a simple way the main aspects of the act: what is POCSO, why this law was required, why it is considered a special law, what the key features of the act are and what offences are covered under the act. A special attention is given to the importance of reporting the offence.
Title of the lesson: My Body and My Rights
You’re a teenager now. This period of life is going to be wonderful and confusing.
As you grow up, you will explore and understand your body more. It is very important that you understand how to keep your body safe and how to ask for help if you feel unsafe.
There are some rules that you need to follow to keep your body safe.
If one of these things happens to a child, it is called Child Sexual Abuse.
It can happen to any child from 0 till 18 years of age.
If anyone touches you in a way that is uncomfortable, forces you into watching uncomfortable videos and pictures, or shows you their private parts, they are committing a crime and can be punished by law.
- No one can touch your private parts.
- No one can ask you to touch their private parts.
- No one shall show you pictures of private parts.
- No one shall show you movies or pictures that make you feel uncomfortable.
- Have you read or heard cases of assault of children in media?
- Have you heard of such cases from your friends?
- Have you ever discussed this topic with your parents?
- How did you feel about such cases? Did you feel scared?
What is POCSO?
Do you know there is a special law to protect children from sexual abuse? It is called POCSO.
Do you know what is the full form of POCSO? It is called the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. This Act came into being on Children’s day in 2012. It was like a gift to them to protect them from all kinds of sexual abuse.
What are the key features of POCSO?
- It covers all children below the age of 18 years
- It covers both boys and girls and makes no distinction between the two
- It is a Special law.
What kinds of offences are covered under POCSO? Do you have any idea?
Read the offences below:
If the offence is done by a person whom children trust like a doctor, a policeman, a teacher, a brother, etc. then it becomes a more serious offence. In such case, the POCSO Act provides stricter punishment and the person can be jailed for his full life.
- If someone touches your private parts
- If someone asks you touch their private parts
- If someone shows you photographs or videos that make you feel uncomfortable
- If someone follows you that makes you uncomfortable and scared
What can you do if these incidents happen?
Speak up! If any of these things happens to you, do not keep it secret!
If someone asks me to keep these things secret, you must tell your safe adults!
It’s very important to report every abuse. Remember it is never your fault if someone abuses you. Do not be afraid. There is no need to keep a secret that hurts you!
We often think someone we know will not harm us. But did you know that in more than 90% of cases reported on child sexual abuse, the abuser was someone the child knew from before? This can be very confusing and make it harder to report the abuse.
This can happen to any child. Boys are equally vulnerable. Since boys are asked to be tough and strong, they are often more scared and shy to report the abuse.
Can you image what can happen if people do not report? The consequences can be:
That’s why reporting is mandatory reporting included in POCSO!
It means that anyone like a mother, father, uncle, neighbor, teacher or even a child knows that a child is being abused or is in the danger of being abused then they MUST report to police. Mandatory reporting is necessary to put an end to abuse.
- The offender becomes confident that nothing will happen to him and will keep abusing the child
- The abuser might abuse more children
How can you report of any incident happens to you or another child?
- They can tell a person you trust like mother, father, teacher or doctor. Under mandatory reporting such person will have to report to police.
- You can also directly call the police helpline no 100 and inform the police
- You can call Childline no 1098 from either a mobile or fixed landline and ask the Childline to help
What happens when you report?
POCSO has especially been made for children; therefore, it has many child friendly procedures. Child friendly means the procedures which do not scare the child and instead make the child feel comfortable. These procedures ensure that the child feels that he/she is not at fault and that they have made no mistake.
When you report:
- A police officer or a Special Juvenile Police Officer (SJPO) will attend to your case. SJPO is a specially trained officer in police station to exclusively deal with children
- Police or SJPO will record the complaint in simple language and also read out to you.
- A medical examination is necessary for collecting evidence. Remember, that medical examination will have to be conducted by a woman doctor and in the presence of parents or someone you trust which could be your aunty, uncle, elder sister, teacher, etc.
- A woman police officer will record your statement or what you know about the crime
- Remember that the police officer cannot take you to the police station to record what you have to say. The police officer has to record your statement either in your house or any other place where you are comfortable like your grandparents house.
- Remember that the police officer will not be in uniform while talking with you. He/she will be wearing plain clothes like your parents.
- The police officer will also NOT ask you again and again to narrate the incident.
What happens when the reporting is completed?
- Tell them that once they have reported, they have nothing to worry or be sacred of
- Now only the accused has to worry, he has to prove in court if he was innocent or not
- POCSO provides for special courts for children: children can go there freely and need not be scared
- The court will ensure that you don’t get to see the accused again
- The judge will not ask you questions in front of everyone, he will do so in the presence of your parents or anyone you trust in a closed room.
- The Special court is not like a court we see in movies, it is very different and has separate rooms for children
- The Act also says that the judge will finish the trial quickly within a year and the accused will be sent to jail
Make children feel safe during the class discussion. You may encourage students to reach out to you personally to share anything they like. However, remember that when the child is sharing about the abuse, remain calm and offer support keeping the emotional and physical well-being of the child as priority.
- We saw together the rules you need to follow to keep your body safe.
- Do you remember these rules?
- What is child sexual abuse?
- Should you keep the secret if anyone tries to make you feel uncomfortable?
- What can you do if any of these things happens?
- What is the full form of POCSO?
- Does it apply to person who is 18 years of age?
- What is the number of Child helpline?
- Can a police officer ask you to come to police station to narrate the incident?
- Who is a SJPO?