The elephant in the room no one wants to talk about – Child Sexual Abuse

Often at the sessions of “The Bachpan project”, I wonder why it’s difficult for the child to speak about child sexual abuse. Why do they go though years of abuse to finally accept it? Why do they even need a counsellor when they have parents around?

Believe it or not, In most societies child sexual abuse is still a taboo, making it difficult for most people to talk about it openly. Then there are demons like doubting our own perceptions, being afraid to accuse someone falsely, and being unable or unwilling to go through the pain that can stem from acknowledging that someone we care about is being abused or is abusing.

Let’s first talk about why they are not able to talk about it?

Fear that no one will understand

Sexual abuse is hard to prove because there are rarely witnesses. Many people think that unless they can prove abuse has taken place, they don’t have the right to speak up about behaviors or observations that concern them. It’s important to act responsibly, but saying nothing because you think you don’t have enough proof can expose a child to danger.

Looking for reasons rather than signs

It’s an innocent child for God’s sake who will first need to come to term with the fact that he is being abused, don’t look for reason, for logic, for concern before you act. If you’re concerned about child sexual abuse, ask yourself what exactly you’re seeing that makes you uncomfortable or suspicious. You may be thinking that all you have is a gut feeling that something isn’t quite right. Go by that damn gut feeling. Never ever ignore it. Because your intuition and your feelings are connected to a behavior, interaction or event that actually took place.

You may be a loner voice in suspecting fishy

It can take enormous courage and determination to stand up when no one else shares your concerns. Some people try speaking up, but when others ignore or dismiss what they have to say, they can become too intimidated to bring the subject up again. It always happens but do remember your one act can save a life, your one step of trust is all that a child needs to believe in the power of goodness. If a child has disclosed that they are being abused, adults might not believe the child unless they understand that children rarely lie about sexual abuse.

If you’re not sure, get help to assess if these behaviors indicate a risk of sexual abuse. Figuring out if the behaviors that worry you are significant is hard to do by yourself.

Reach to us at The Bachpan Project if you need professional assistance.

Reach to us at for sessions on child sexual abuse in schools and organizations.

Act because we need to make sure that childhood is not trapped in abuse and violence.

3 Comment

  1. Child sexual abuse cases seem to be growing alamrmingly. It is so important to remove the stigma and the fear around this topic. The level of trauma a child suffers is unimaginable, adding shame to that or not acknowledging it makes it even worse.

  2. I agree with this. This is one topic where people are not bold enough to talk about in public. I really appreciate your initiative and I am sure this will be taken up seriously now.

  3. You are working on such a sensitive and difficult cause. It is not easy to identify child sexual abuse and abusers. Children need to be sensitized around this topic. It shouldn’t be a taboo to discuss this. More power to you!

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