Seven-year-old Pradyuman’s murder has jolted the nation. It highlights the sexual and physical abuse children go through in public places like schools. Inspector General Renuka Mishra, an IPS officer of the 1990 batch, spoke about child safety and the challenges of dealing with abuse and sexual harassment.
She told SheThePeople.TV, “Many times it happens that children don’t tell their parents about abuse. And statistics show that one in two children are survivors of sexual abuse but they never tell anyone about it. It is such a taboo among the family and relatives, which is why children are unable to talk about it.”
"Because we are all so silent about child safety and parents don’t understand the gravity of this issue, abuse and sexual harassment happens in such large numbers"- IPS Renuka Mishra
However, she praised the recent digital efforts wherein children can talk about their trauma without revealing their identity. “Now there are many websites where children can go and share their stories with full anonymity. And I want police also to take a similar step to ensure child safety and report cases of harassment.”
Mishra also spoke of ways which can help tackle the problem of child abuse and harassment. “First and foremost, to tackle this problem, we all need to speak up about it. Because we are all so silent about it and parents don’t make their children understand the gravity of this issue, it happens in such large numbers. Parents also don’t teach kids that it is not normal for anyone to touch you in your private parts. Secondly, parents should understand that it is a dastardly crime since we are violating the trust factor. And thirdly, police must also respond seriously to this issue.”
If we can follow these steps, then we can curb children-related crimes, she said.
A bus conductor allegedly tried to sexually abuse Pradyuman in the washroom of Ryan International School in Gurugram on September 8. He then killed the young child when Pradyuman tried to resist and defend himself. The Gurugram police has arrested the bus conductor. But Pradyuman‘s father Vinod Thakur has filed a petition in the Supreme Court pleading for justice.
Two Delhi-based lawyers also filed a petition in the SC to ensure child welfare and safety by hold the school authorities responsible for children’s safety. The apex court heard both the petitions on 15 Sept.
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