I firmly believe that the safety of our children is our topmost priority and is a big concern for all of us today. Parents need to wake up to this fact that they have to be aware and take care AND educate their children about their safety at a war footing level today. Sexual crimes on children and girls are a daily feature in the news today. We need not go into the depths of statistics whether such cases have increased or is there more reporting of such cases today. This is a hazard MORE dangerous than Environmental Pollution or Climate Change! Way back in the 70’s when there was no Internet ,hardly any vulgarity was being shown in our films, except for a rare cabaret dance from the then versatile actresses like Helen and others like her, whose meandering dance steps use to titillate our youth. Times have changed dramatically since then and now the ‘reel and the social media’ have invaded the privacy of our bedrooms in nearly all homes. What programs people and youth can see on the TV, how easily they can get access to the Internet on their mobiles, and how adversely certain programs are affecting their psyche is anybody’s guess today! The sexual crimes we are hearing of,which are being forced on soft targets like children and girls is evidence enough to tell us that all is not well in our society today.
The rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl is far scarier than other cases. This has shown what kind of a society we are making and living in. Sharing of victim’s images can also show us that psychopaths live around us and can harm us. It has also made people concerned about the safety of their children. There should be awareness among the people which the social media and mainstream media have done in this case. Sharing the identity and pictures of such victims is illegal but if we talk about the law there may be various things and angles to this. I think that not just the identity of the victim but also that of the perpetrators should be out in front of the public.
Child pornography refers to any content that depicts sexually explicit activities involving a child. Often times child abuse victims are abused by someone they know—people these children should have been able to trust. These offenders have close access to children they are abusing, using grooming tactics to normalize sexual contact and encourage privacy.
Psychology teaches us that People are very strongly affected by what they see. This is called the ‘Visual Impact’ on our mind ,which is much more effective on our mind than the effect of what we hear or read.Pornography especially Child Pornography is available so easily on the internet and it has an adverse effect on, the human mind. It can make men sexual perverts and attack innocent children for sexual gratification!
A current study found that sex offender type was significantly related to a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder or borderline personality disorder. What I want to put forth clearly for all to understand is that in today’s uncertain times, when a volley of information is available to us at the click of a button on our laptops or mobiles,we can never be very sure of what people around us are viewing and how it is affecting their psychology!
The need of the hour is for each one of to be aware of our environment and the people around us. There may be psychopaths or people with bizarre personality disorders lurking around us,who may have a distorted perception and view of reality. Children are soft and easy targets for such predators of crime. The only way to ensure safety of our children is Prevention of such crimes from happening. This can only be done by OUR Awareness and the precautions we take by Educating our children how to be safe from such hazards and hazardous people! We have to talk to our children about Good Touch and Bad Touch and educate them how to sense that something is wrong and what they should do to salvage themselves.
Social media is like a double-edged sword. It does a lot of good for us technically speaking,but it has also brought Porn and Child Porn into our homes! These are deterrents for good mental health.They are Hazards for the safety of our children as people exposed to such vulgar stuff do get excited and may commit heinous sexual crimes. Vulgarity seen in the Reel life and Alcohol which is so rampantly sold everywhere, add fuel to the fire. These add up and lead to more psychological damage to the psyche of the criminals.
Law will take its own course and time in settling crimes and punishing the guilty of such crimes. Rigorous Punishments are a must and justice should be quick and fair. Legal implications of stigma with the victim’s name being made public are a concern,and therefore the name of the victim is not made public. But I opine that if the crime is so grievous that the victim loses her life, then I feel there is no harm in naming the victim to make the incident sound more authentic and which will wake people up to be more careful in the future for their safety and the safety of their children in future. At the same time I feel that the name of the culprit should also be made public so that these criminals also face the stigma for the crime they have committed.
The emotional, psychological, social, physical trauma the victim faces after the crime has happened, is so immense that sometimes the damage is irreparable! Therefore it is imperative for parents and people to take all precautions in being safe and preventing such crimes from taking place. All measures should be taken to protect our children and girls from such crimes . The onus is on us. Let us not be dependent for the safety of our children on others. Talk to your children about these matters and teach them how to be careful and safe. Educate them, teach them how to be alert, aware and safe from impending dangers and psychopaths lurking in human attire ! I come back to square one—Awareness and precaution, especially by the parents for their children ,against such crimes, criminals, people even relatives, good touch and bad touch awareness by children, are the only way to be safe and take care. Let not ego hassles and slogans of Gender Equality hinder your safety measures for yourself or for your children.Have faith in the Law, raise your concern and voice for changes in the Law, but remember—Prevention of a crime is much more important than fighting for justice after it has happened and this is possible with our willingness to learn to be aware and safe!
Dr Sona Kaushal Gupta
Neuro-psychologist and CBSE Counselor