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ActionAid India warns parents about spotting the signs of child abuse

ActionAid India has launched a campaign in India to highlight child sexual abuse and aims to encourage adults to address such violence.

The campaign, which is called #JoinTheDots and created by Dentsu-owned WATConsult, makes use of a film to showcase a mother’s strong bond with her son, threaded together by their intimate and candid moments. It further highlights subtle signs of behaviour change in the child that parents unintentionally tend to ignore, considering it normal.

Presently, the Indian government data shows that every 15 minutes, a child is sexually abused in India and most perpetrators are not dangerous strangers, but the people who have the confidence and trust of the child and his/her family. Both boys and girls who are sexually abused often spend a lifetime in silence because of shame, stigma and the fear of speaking up against it

The purpose of the film is to point out that the behavioural signs of a sexually abused child can be very similar to the signs caused due to other conditions or stress, physical or mental. It emphasizes that these signs are all present, which means adults need to learn to spot them and address them in time.

It hopes to get parents and guardians to have regular communication with their child and be vigilant to acknowledge hints, which it says would help prevent or tackle any incidences of abuse, with the child’s best interests in mind.

“ActionAid India remains committed to working for the protection of children, especially girls, from discriminatory practices of sex-selective abortions, trafficking, and sexual assault. Over the years we have worked with allied organizations, the administration and policymakers to bring change on the ground for the protection, nutrition, and education of children,” said Sandeep Chachra, the executive director at ActionAid India.

“Children’s vulnerability will remain till children in all contexts are recognized as equal citizens. In the family, this calls for children being listened to and their interests being considered as equal, if not of paramount interest. Through the “Join the Dots” campaign, we want to help adults see, listen and act in the best interests of children.”

WATConsult has also launched ‘The Alter Project’, a dedicated vertical for public service campaigns fronted by brands and institutions to leverage the power of digital to champion causes, challenge archaic norms, drive civil action and inspire change.

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