Preventing sexual abuse of children in schools across J&K Union Territory and for that matter in the entire country is not an easy task especially when the large proportion of the population is sex starved due to various reasons in the country including hypocrisy prevailing in society. Taking the specific case of child sexual abuse in schools, one can gauge well that it is an abhorrent crime that leaves a lasting impact on victims, their families, and society as a whole.
There is a drastic need not only to spread awareness among vulnerable segments but also take stricter measures against potential culprits to deter them from indulging into one of the most heinous crimes of modern times viz child sexual abuse. One can say that to effectively combat the issue, it is essential to focus not only on victim support but also on preventing potential culprits from indulging in such heinous acts. For sure, there is an urgency of implementing stringent steps to stop probable culprits from committing sexual abuse in educational institutions.
In this context, the Directorate of School Education Department, Jammu, has rightly asked the Heads of Departments of various institutions through the Chief Education Officers to spread awareness regarding the prevention of child sexual abuse in schools. This is undoubtedly a much needed step in containing the widespread menace. However, it is not enough or the ultimate solution to the problem. The issue is colossal, and cases are coming to the fore very often, as can be seen through news reports and other sources. The aforesaid authority of the J&K Government cannot evade its responsibility by simply issuing such directions. These are mere basic requirements, but the real fight against this menace demands a herculean task. This includes conducting background checks on all employees and others who are supposed to interact with children, providing training to staff to educate them about the signs of abuse and emphasizing their legal and ethical responsibilities to promptly stop or report cases. The recruitment process should prioritize individuals committed to child safety.
Creating an atmosphere where students and staff feel comfortable reporting suspicions of abuse is paramount in combating such cases. Additionally, installing security cameras in common areas and implementing strict supervision protocols during extracurricular activities, field trips, and one-on-one sessions can act as deterrents to potential culprits. These measures, among others, can greatly help in mitigating the problems associated with crimes related to child sexual abuse.
There is no fun in addressing such aftermath of the abuse because all force should be applied to prevent such reprehensible crimes from happening in the first place.
It is good that the Directorate of School Education Department, Jammu has also issued directions to make students aware of the POCSO Act and also install CCTVs at vulnerable spots making things difficult for those who are on prowl to find prey in schools and society. Since the vigil is required in continuous manner as a part of strategy, the initiative therefore, should not end with the circular itself. It needs a proper and aggressive follow up to keep the awareness level vibrant and the potential element at bay.