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Experts stress need to create awareness against child abuse and sexual harassment

The speakers and participants at an extension lecture on Child Abuse, Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment at Maulana Azad National Urdu University has underscored the need for creating awareness about the protection of girl child at every level as the situation is going from bad to worse.

Speaking at the extension lecture Dr. Farzana, Programme Manager, and Pearl Choragudi, Senior Counsellor, the experts on gender and Human Rights from My Choices, a non-governmental organization, informed the audience that in several cases the home which should be fort of protection has become the den where girl child is being abused.

Dr Farzana explained the importance of Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and Protection of Child from Sexual Offences Act 2012, and the need to put them in practice unhesitatingly wherever they are required. She pointed out that unfortunately in numerous cases the abuser is an acquaintance and often a relative of the victim.

The experts also informed the audience that a rape is taking place in India every 20 minutes. “One out of five rape victims is a child,” they pointed out.

According to the resource persons the deep rooted patriarchal structure of the society in essentially responsible for making conditions vulnerable for the girl child. The abuse of the girl child has been so old and rampant that many male members of the family have begun to take it as “normal” and “routine.”

Choragudi, senior counselor at My Choices, pointed out that the incidents of abuse and violence leave lifelong impact on the psyche of the victims negatively affecting their social functioning.

Prof. Mohammed Shahid, Head Department of Social Work, discussed this oppression against women and children from the hegemonic and common sense perspective. He argued how language, symbols and so called socialization are responsible as subterranean forces to cause violence and abuse against women and children. He suggested that we need to critically rethink the working of the oppressive forces within human system. He strongly recommended self-retrospection to understand the oppressive manner in which many members of the society behave. This exercise should be to control behavioral pattern and give respect to others.

Md Israr Alam, In-charge of the extension lecture, emphasized the need to discuss and create awareness about such problems with the students.

A large number of students, teaching and non-teaching staff from different departments took part in discussion that followed the lecture by experts.

Dr. Md Shahid Raza, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, welcomed the guests and Dr. Md Aftab Alam, Field Work Coordinator, proposed the vote of thanks. (INN)