Make Personal Safety Education (PSE) Compulsory in Kerala Govt Schools #TeachKidsSafety
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I was riding my scooter when a flashback of having been sexually abused came into my mind for the hundredth time. The next thing I knew, I was lying flat on the road and my right leg was under my scooter.
From the age of 3 to 14 the men who have sexually abused me include a domestic help, a family member, a shopkeeper and a doctor. I only realized it was called ‘child sexual abuse’ when I turned nineteen.
The multiple incidents of abuse affected my physical health status, my academic life, my self-confidence and my emotional well-being. I felt confused, sad, ashamed, guilty, restless and lost for years.
Don't we as a society want to protect our children from all this?
This is not just my story. One out every two children has been sexually abused in India which is the country with the world’s largest number of child sexual abuse cases (WCD 2006, NCRB) and the abusers are often the people we trust, the people with whom we think our children will be safe.
To battle this, I got myself trained as a Personal Safety Educator and have been training school children about how to recognize, resist and report abuse. But to reach every single child, the government needs to implement this.
I am asking the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KeSCPCR) and the Minister of Education Prof. C. Ravindranath to order that all government schools in Kerala introduce Personal Safety Education (PSE) compulsory training for students, parents, teachers, and staff.
This can easily be achieved since these sessions need to be conducted only about once or twice a year based on the school’s needs.
I choose Kerala because once we form a model state for this (Bangalore and Meghalaya are places which have already begun), other states and schools will follow the lead.
The Kerala State Policy for Child (KSPC) 2016 already mentions that the State wishes to provide abuse awareness and life skills sessions to children and adolescents. Introducing Personal Safety Education (PSE) can achieve both these goals since it covers both life skills and personal safety lessons.
Every 15 minutes a child in India is sexually abused as per the latest study by CRY.
Sign my petition to ensure children grow up in a safer world.
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