BIS #7001 Sessions on Protecting Innocence at DBHS Matunga

By Ms Perpetual Nazareth for BISMumbai

Arpan NGO conducted an impactful two-day session on Child Sexual Abuse on 31 July and 1 August 2023, for the teachers of Don Bosco High School, Matunga. The sessions conducted in the school aimed to raise awareness about Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and tools to address and prevent this critical issue. 

The speakers, Ms Anushka Bhatt and Ms Sayali Jadhav, both experts in their respective fields, explained the objectives of Arpan NGO, emphasising its commitment to protecting children from sexual abuse, providing counselling and support to survivors, and advocating for their rights.

Ms Jadhav provided an in-depth understanding of child sexual abuse, its various forms, and the importance of recognising warning signs in children to identify potential cases of abuse. The aim of the Personal Safety Education Programme (PSEP) was discussed, focusing on empowering children with knowledge about their body safety, boundaries, and ways to protect themselves from potential dangers.

The importance of creating a safe environment for children to share their experiences was emphasised. The speakers spoke about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, highlighting its significance in the legal protection of children against sexual abuse. The concept of grooming was discussed, with a focus on how offenders manipulate and establish trust with their victims. Ms Bhatt conducted a demo on the Personal Safety Education Programme, showing how it can be implemented effectively in classrooms to educate children about their safety. 

On the second day, a few teachers presented demo lessons on PSE in their classrooms. The final session covered handling disclosure scenarios, including how teachers can identify potential cases of CSA, the determinants for taking action, and appropriate ways to respond to a child's disclosure. 

Teachers were given a pretest on their understanding of CSA before the session began. The seminar concluded with a post-test to evaluate the participants' understanding of CSA after attending the session. The teachers expressed their commitment to implementing the PSE programme in their classrooms, ensuring the safety and well-being of their students, and promising a brighter and safer future for the children under their care.