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2010 NICP Workshop on CSA for Police Personnel

CHILDLINE 1098 SERVICE » Strategic Policy Initiative » The National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP) » 2010 NICP Workshops » Workshop on CSA for Police Personnel »

The National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP) workshop at Nirmala Niketan Auditorium was held to sensitise top officers of the Mumbai police on Child sexual abuse (CSA) on November 12, 2011. The workshop saw 50 officers take a day out from their busy schedule to participate. The Resource persons were from diverse professions like law, counselling and medicine and they took the participants through the basics of the three pillars of Child Protection.

With a rampant increase in the cases of child sexual abuse, this workshop was an attempt to sensitise policemen about the psychological, legal and medical aspects related to child sexual abuse, as they grapple to deal with such cases on a daily basis. Naina Athale, Faculty Member, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) highlighted the myths and realities of CSA. What is worrisome, she said, is that a large number of cases do not get reported. This is because in 75% cases, the person who subjects a child to abuse is a family member, relative or a person who holds a position of trust with the child.

Ranjeet Chouguley, Director of the Justice and Care spoke about the legal aspects of child sexual abuse. He pointed that no specialised legislation for child sexual abuse are yet in place. On the question of how to judge a case of abuse, Ranjit Chouguley, asked police officers to use only one parameter, "Always think would this be all right if it was my child? If the act is not right for your child then it is not right for someone else child."

Chouguley said, It is important for the police to describe whatever they feel when they first meet the victims, whether the victim was scared, was facing a difficulty in talking etc, because the police play a crucial role in being the eyes and ears of the judge as they are the first people in contact with the victim. Giving an example of a judge going out of her way to put a victim of abuse at ease, resource persons spoke of Justice Ranjana Desai of the Bombay High Court who created a series of parameters for a case to make the victim comfortable while giving testimony.

The resource persons stressed on the long term effects of abuse on children and their inability to give exact descriptions of abusers to law enforcement agencies and difficulties in remembering sequence of events. The workshop was inaugurated with the tying of 'Suraksha Bandhans' on the wrists of all the policemen, as a gesture of CHILDLINE's appreciation for their continued commitment to protecting children.

2010 NICP Workshop on CSA for Police Personnel
(L to R) NICP workshop at Mumbai: Naina Athale explaining a session on the myths and realities of CSA at the workshop, Children tying Suraksha Bandhan to the participants
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