Poet, Author, Editor, Creative Writing Consultant

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month

When I first starting talking about CSA to people I knew, I got several responses. These responses came from people who were considered educated and aware. These were working women who went out in the world, interacted with an outside world, knew what was going on in the world around them and were not ignorant to say the least. They held well paid jobs. One of these women was a 28 year old (can’t call a today’s urban working 28 year old na├»ve, can you?) who said , when she first learnt of the existence of CSA, that she could not believe such a thing existed. I looked at her in shocked surprise, surely she could not be so impervious to what went on in the world?  Surely she must have heard some stories, some whiff of all this must have reached her ears at some point in her 28 year old life? Anyways, better late than never, be aware and know that CSA exists everywhere, and is often to be found happening within the confines of family life.
The other response was from an Indian lady who lives abroad and is middle aged. She has seen and experienced a lot of life. She is a working woman, holds a very important job, has grown up children. She is aware and alert about several issues. When I mentioned the prevalence of CSA in India, especially that it often takes place in families and that the abuse is done by someone who is either trusted or held in high regard by the victim, she gave an unbelievable response. She said that she did not think that CSA could happen in India, since our religion (sic) would prevent people from doing such shameful things. According to her, it was a malaise of the West. I was so dumbfounded that for a long time I could not speak. Well, now she has become aware that CSA exists wherever there are people, and it is as rampant in India as it is anywhere else.
That is why CSA awareness becomes important. So that people know that CSA exists, that it exists within families, and what to look out for to know if it is taking place within your own family, or happening to someone you know. CSA awareness makes you understand that these issues have to be dealt with, otherwise the implications are great. CSA is hushed, ignore, not made much of, because of the stigma attached to it. So the more people become aware, the more they talk about these issues and bring them out into the open, the more it becomes something that the perpetrators know they cannot get away with without being punished. CSA is a crime against the vulnerable, the tender, the innocent. Awareness is the first step towards action.
Those of you who do want to discuss anything related to CSA, please get in touch with Anuja Gupta of RAHI Foundation. She is there to counsel and help.

Talk today, April 12th, with Anuja of RAHI between 4.30 and 5.30 on Twitter: @CSAawareness

 For more on CSA Awareness, another site : www.karmickids.blogspot.com


  1. I am so glad that we are taking about it in forums such as these as well. I think that the more we make ourselves visible and discuss on the subject, the more awareness is created. It is important to address CSA as soon as one can do so, or is mentally prepared to. And seek a willing counselor or even find ways to come to terms with it.

    Thanks Abha, very interesting read.


  2. CSA is hushed, ignore, not made much of, because of the stigma attached to it.

    You are so right Abha. Community silence is necessary for perpetrators to believe that they can act with impunity. The community is not a neutral bystander.
    Silence is the way the community actively participates in CSA.