Fighting Violence Against Girls and Children
India has a wide range of robust laws to protect children, most prominent of them being POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, 2012). The challenge is in implementing the laws due to inadequate human resource capacity on the ground and quality prevention and rehabilitation services that should focus on reformative justice practices and healing. Inadequacy of the aforementioned, results in millions of children being prone to violence, abuse and exploitation.
Violence takes place in all settings: at home, school, child care institutions, work and in the community. NCRB data says in over 94.8% cases, sexual violence is perpetrated by someone known to the child and in 10% cases by the child’s own family member. Violence against children is widespread and remains a harsh reality for millions of children from all socio-economic groups in India. Both girls and boys in India face early marriage, domestic abuse, sexual violence, violence at home and in school, trafficking, online violence, child labour and bullying – both online and offline. All forms of violence, abuse and exploitation have long-lasting consequences on children’s lives.
Breaking The Silence (Chuppi Todo)
Protsahan fights against Child Abuse through Arts & Technology based interventions with a specific focus on adolescent girls. 53% children in India face sexual abuse. Only 8% of more than 100,000 cases reported to the police reach the courts. In partnerships with organizations working directly with children and teachers, anganwadis under the integrated child protection scheme, government schools, we conduct safe and unsafe touch, trauma informed compassionate care trainings, how to create child friendly spaces, personal safety education training. Protsahan’s child protection programme reaches over 1,00,000 children and educators each year. These trainings cover essentials of child rights legislations with a strong emphasis on POCSO, juvenile justice law, children in need of care and protection, child marriage, menstruation, gender equality, female foeticide, reporting to child helplines and school enrollments. Regular child parliaments are conducted locally to create conversation points and participation in governance by children themselves on issues that matter.
Case Documentation of Child Protection Cases
Documentation of cases with regular home visits is central to Protsahan’s programming as it is the most effective way to assess and deal with child abuse and exploitation. Protsahan gives equal weight to Prevention and Healing in this domain to ensuring children are sufficiently protected. We can’t only focus on post-incident responses alone, equal investment needs to be given to prevention mechanisms as well. Protsahan helps with community support services that provide healing to survivors and their families including focus on mental health counselling which is at the core of our HEART Model, encouraging community based restorative justice programmes, support for school continuation, and social protection by aligning with the requisite government aid and schemes. Priority is given to cases for reduction of child marriage, child sexual abuse and support for out of school children. Protsahan also advocates for strengthening effective delivery of preventive and response child protection services in selected communities where we have our presence and then using these insights to support government related child protection services at scale.
In the past Protsahan has conducted child protection workshops in partnership with: Government Schools, Aanganwadis (day care centres) through Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) of Government of India, Delhi Tamil Education Association Schools, Unicef India, Childline 1098, Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, Tech Mahindra Foundation, Jamghat by Richa Aniruddha, Shades of Happiness Foundation, Chicago University, Delhi University (Social Work and Law Department), Prerana ATC, Martha Farrell Foundation, Pro-Sport Development, Deepalaya, Teach for India, Participatory Research in Asia, and more.