Insecurity in public places

Girls tend to skip schools

D S Sourav

Girls tend to drop out of schools due to lack of security, sexual harassment and abuse in public places, several surveys reveal. According to a recent Child Rights Advocacy Coalition (CRAC) report as many as 826 children were raped and abused in the last six months (from Jan 1 to July 20) across the country. Most cases of child abuse, of both male and female children, remain unreported.

A total of 471 children, including 15 boys, were raped during the period and 390 cases were filed. The rate of violence taking places shows how the society is failing to provide security to the children. While these statistics are shocking and horrifying, these are by no means surprising, as child abuse has been rampant in this country for years and little has been done to address the problem.

“Children are the most vulnerable group in society. We are failing them badly,” NGO worker Sayma Ahmed told Bangladesh Post. “It is imperative that the authorities treat the problem of child sexual abuse as the utmost priority and bring an end to this curse. The continuation of a culture in which sexual predators are encouraged is as much a policy failure as a law enforcement one,” she added.

Sayma Ahmed further emphasized that, the government has a big role to play in creating this environment, together with the local communities and social organisations, and the urgency to produce results in the fight against child abuse must be felt equally across all levels. Abuse and Violence are a health risk among Children. It carries the potential of producing long and debilitating mental health problems that includes maladaptive behaviors, anxiety disorders, personality or relational issues.

This health issue requires equal importance as any other physiologic and physical disorder. It advocates the use of client centered or person-centered therapy. Every child is a human being having similar rights as any adult have. Children from families where domestic violence regularly occurs in the home environment tend to suffer from emotional violence if not physical abuse.

According to a report released by humanitarian organization, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), 47 female children were raped, sexually harassed, or assaulted between April 2 and April 16, in just two weeks! Bangladesh Child Rights Forum said this year, till March a total of 211 children have fallen victim to sexual harassment, of whom 164 were raped.

Another 2018 survey of 364 children age 15 to 18, conducted by Child’s Rights Advocacy Qualification in Bangladesh, found that 48.6 percent of them became victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). Girls experienced and reported more SGBV compared to boys. A total of 19.9% girls reported SGBV, in contrast to 7.7% of boys.

University of Dhaka’s Department of Clinical Psychology, Professor Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman, and President Bangladesh Clinical Psychology Society (BCPS), says, “People who grow up without morality and proper education are the main offenders of child violence. Mindsets of many are not growing up morally. Establishing ‘supremacy culture’ among minor is one of the main reasons of child abuse and violence,”

“Violence on children is not outcome of a particular person. Society, culture and politics are playing major roles behind this. Community bonding and proper schooling for children is mandatory to have more values because if children grow up morally he or she will never commit this types of violence,” Rahman added.

ABM Najmus Sakib of Department of Criminology of University of Dhaka told this correspondent, “Human beings are biologically influenced to commit crimes. Now these day social media influencing to perpetrate violence on children. Social obligations and lack of morals causing this situation. May be ‘super ego’ behind huge rate of child abuse. ”

Mentioning current scenario ratio he suggests that, children are easily targeted for violence because they can’t protect themselves like adults. Parents must be protective to save their children to save them.