‘Teachers must identify child abuse victims’

The Indian Council for Child Welfare, Tamil Nadu (ICCWTN) is organising a one-day training programme aimed at equipping teachers to serve as child protection agents.
‘Teachers must identify child abuse victims’

Chennai

The free training for teachers to take up the roles of child protection agents will be held in January and is aimed at reaching out to teachers in private schools. Girija Kumar Babu, General Secretary, ICCWTN, said “The training will focus on the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children. It will be at various levels as some of them get abused by teachers too, and this training aims to stop that. Secondly, make them approachable so children talk to them about abuse. Thirdly, the teachers need to know what to do when a child reports abuse—for example, call up the child helpline and report the abuse. There is also a reporting clause in the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. They also need to be aware of the legal provisions.”

She added that while government school teachers get exposure in the area, private school teachers are cut off from the mainstream. “However, that doesn’t mean government school teachers cannot undergo training. We are open to training whoever is interested and want to follow it up with more such sessions in the future.”

Reports suggest that over 60 percent of children face abuse. Girija added, “However, there are a lot of unknown cases like icebergs in water. Abuse can happen in school, but when it happens at home, they often feel that they have nowhere to go.”

Experts point out that children who have been abused display a change in behaviour and that teachers must be aware enough to identify this and reach out to the child who needs help. They say that in any form, child abuse can be detrimental to the child’s dignity and survival, and negatively impact their development.

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