(This post is a part of our series about Young People who are making this world a better place)
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
— Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa
According to the Mayo Clinic, Child Abuse is any intentional harm or mistreatment to a child under 18 years old. Child abuse takes many forms, which often occur at the same time-
- Physical abuse. Physical child abuse occurs when a child is purposely physically injured or put at risk of harm by another person.
- Sexual abuse. Sexual child abuse is any sexual activity with a child, such as fondling, oral-genital contact, intercourse, exploitation or exposure to child pornography.
- Emotional abuse. Emotional child abuse means injuring a child’s self-esteem or emotional well-being. It includes verbal and emotional assault — such as continually belittling or berating a child — as well as isolating, ignoring or rejecting a child.
- Medical abuse. Medical child abuse occurs when someone gives false information about illness in a child that requires medical attention, putting the child at risk of injury and unnecessary medical care.
- Neglect. Child neglect is failure to provide adequate food, shelter, affection, supervision, education, or dental or medical care.
A lot of achievements have been made in the sphere of Child Rights over the years but unfortunately Child abuse continues to be a massive social evil that has largely continued to happen behind closed doors. I recently got in touch with a student led movement based in India, who are trying hard to raise awareness about various issues Children across the world face especially Child abuse in all its forms- sexual, physical, emotional etc. The Blue Ribbon project was founded by two students who aim at constructing a world where the Rights of the Children are protected and honored in a society that is built on the pillars of dignity, justice, and equality for all.
The movement was started by Simran Bhaskar and co-founded by Vrinda Singh. Both of them are extremely passionate about the cause and have tried to consistently raise the voice of Children on various platforms across India.
They have collaborated both with National and International organizations such as Donate a Smile Foundation, Article 10, Rotaract Calcutta, Girl Up Texas, etc. They have also been featured in a number of newspapers and magazines.
When asked about the ultimate aim of their organization, Simran Bhaskar, the founder said “I believe this platform will help people to raise their voices against child abuse and give them the courage to share about the types of abuse they have endured during their childhood and how it affected them during different stages of their lives. Child Abuse is a global issue and it is high time we stand together to end such practices”.
The main problem when it comes to issues like Child abuse is that firstly people lack the awareness as to what constitutes abuse and secondly people do not know what to do when they notice Child abuse. This platform aims at changing this while also being as safe space where people who have been victims of Child abuse can share their stories and experiences. They also raise awareness about various forms of Child abuse via their social media handles and collaborations.
Child abuse is a violation of human rights and is a serious offense in almost every country, the more we ignore it, the more we are normalizing abuse, the only way we can hope for a world where young children don’t have to worry about being abused is through strong laws and awareness about the issues that Children face. When you see Children around you being abused, raise your voice, it may be uncomfortable for you but imagine the service you are doing to that little kid. Together, we can build a society where Children don’t have to worry about being hurt. I have attached few resources that can help you identify and report child abuse along with the social media pages of Project Blue Ribbon, hope these will help you gain a better understanding of the degree of this problem, these are especially useful if you have children around you or you work in an environment where children are present like a school or a day care center.
Social Media of Project Blue Ribbon-
Resources about Child Abuse-
Child Help Line Number for India- CHILDLINE 1098