Friday, May 21, 2010


India According to Many Studies Has Rising cases of Child sexual Abuse. Yet we seem to have been lacking in Legislation in this area. However In a meeting held in Jan by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights to discuss the Prevention of Offenses against Children Bill- 2009, It was felt that sexual offenses against children should be addresses separately. (Certain draft bills maybe found online for reading)

Therefore many consultative processes have begun in order to look and existing laws and recommend changes and draft new legislation where required.Enfold Proactive Health trust was part of one such Consultation. The Whole two day process was one of great learning.

It really is an important step forward as we sorely need legislation to protect our children. And I feel happy that enfold Was part of the process.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Daddy are you Gay?"

Working with school children in the National Capital Region has been an eyeopener! I have been conducting sessions on sexuality and personal safety in Bangalore since 2001 - and every year I felt that the younger and younger children were asking questions related to sexual practices. But I had not realised how rapidly children as young as 2nd and 3rd std students are being forced to 'grow up". Innocent childhood experiences are being contorted. A 3rd std boy on being hugged by his Dad asked- "Dad are you Gay?" His father, hoping to difuse the situation, replied " I am hugging you, I am happy, I am gay". The son admonished his father "Not that type of gay, but Gay!" The father was too shocked and embarrassed to answer.

3rd std students can read newspapers - and so are aware of all the words used there. Parents need to educate themselves and practice answering questions related to sexual practices authentically and in a matter- of -fact tone. Avoiding the question, punishing the child, or simply shutting them up will not solve the problem. The kid will turn to the internet or an older child for answers! Worse still, the child will stop asking questions and clarifying doubts with his/ her parents. It is better if the information comes from parents who can put things in perspective and state their values at the same time.

Enfold Trust conducts Demystifying Sexuality courses for lay people, parents, teachers and counsellors.