What is it,child?

You. You,there. No,not you. The one behind you. The one hiding behind the book. Yes,you. Why do you hide,child? Come out into the open. No? And why a no? You’re better where you are? No you most certainly are not! Wilting away at one place, standing there quietly,is that a way to live,child? No, come out. What do you say? You do get out? You play with friends? Yes,child,I have seen you. Your mouth is smiling,but not your eyes. There is something there. Some hidden secret that you’ve never spoken about. Ah,that mocking smile. Such a smile on the face of one so young. It makes the innocence inside you melt away. There is no innocence left,you say? But how can that be? You are but a child – a child who has no worries, a life of fun,play and enjoyment. There! That smile again. What is it,child? Is something bothering you? What can bother a child,after all? Didn’t get your favourite breakfast today? Wait,wait,no,don’t turn away. There is something serious isn’t it? What? Of course I can take a child seriously! Speak up. No,don’t shake your head like that! Try talking. How will that help,you ask? Well,talking lessens the burden. Come on,what is it? It’s a grave matter? Tell me? Ah. I know. A girl,isn’t it? The children of today! Two steps ahead of our generation! Huh? It isn’t a girl? Then what? Had an argument with your parents? No. Oh,alright! Are your parents fighting a lot? Are they err..getting separated? Uh,what’s that? They’re not getting divorced? Uhm. I didn’t mean to put it so bluntly, but ah,okay. Then what can it possibly be? You’re a child,what can worry a child so much? No,no,don’t go away. Fine,then tell me. You tell me. And I promise to listen seriously and carefully.

Ah. So he was your uncle. Took you to the reserve forest area promising to show you your favourite bear? And,there? Oh…oh. Ah.Are you alright? Oh yes. No. Um.Well.Did he hurt you? I mean,yes,okay,well,obviously he did. Err..did you tell your parents? You didn’t? Eh. Okay,erm…you want to cry? No? Uh. Alright. Uhh. You want me to talk to your parents? No? Hmm. Well,um,I better be going. Take care,child,won’t you? And,well,don’t go alone with anyone again. Take that as a lesson for your mistake. Okay,go play,I guess.

*****

Rise up. Rise up against child abuse. Against sexual harassment. Most of all,rise up against incompetence of so-called ‘adults’ in dealing with these cases. The so-called mature people who do not have the knowledge or the wisdom to deal with someone who needs them the most.

“AC,33,was driven to first drugs,then shoplifting,then finally suicide due to overdose on drugs because of child abuse at 6 which he never could tell anyone,because it was perpetuated by his father and his mom wouldn’t believe him.

TommyC died after being shaken so badly by his father that when they took him to the hospital he had no pulse. The doctors found cigarette butt marks all along his spine and butt. He was eight.

RadhikaA,today 34,still undergoes intensive psychological counselling for sexual abuse that she had to deal with when she was 15. She says nobody ‘understood’ her.” *

These are only some of the stories that happen behind closed doors : maybe even yours or mine. Be vigilant. Be mature. And if you have no idea how to deal with someone who comes up to you and tells you such an experience, do not, DO NOT ‘try’ to. Just take them to a competent professional or get them help, and stop yourself from destroying a life. Child abuse helpline numbers can easily be Googled.

*Real life stories above taken from various sources such as http://www.childhelp.org, http://www.asca.org.au and personal communication.

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