Arpan is the largest NGO in the world working towards freedom from child sexual abuse in India.
The Advocacy and Program strategy emphasize on a holistic multilevel model in order to deal with the issue of child sexual abuse (CSA) which is a highly sensitive and socially tabooed issue in the Indian society. The Advocacy and Program strategy is further broken down into following interdependent strategies:
- Sub Strategy I - Public and Policy advocacy in order to create sensitization on CSA with public at large in order to create
more visibility and awareness about the issue of CSA.
- Sub Strategy II -Prevention and Intervention services for children and adult survivors of sexual abuse and their families
in order to reduce the occurrence of CSA, heal its impact and create safe and supportive environment.
- Sub Strategy III - Training and Capacity Building of relevant stakeholders in order to replicate the preventive and
intervention based strategies of Arpan.
- Sub Strategy IV - Research and Development: Arpan is focusing on developing an authentic and holistic knowledge base
on the issue of CSA to create further awareness and sensitization within the larger society as well as to advocate for
local, state and national level changes pertaining to the issue.
The Personal Safety Education Project (PSE) is one of the core interventions at Arpan. Through this project we implement a life skill module with children, and also conduct awareness and skill enhancement sessions for parents, teachers, institutional caretakers, etc. and all primary stakeholders and caregivers in a child's life. The Aim of the PSE Program is to:
- Empower children by imparting age appropriate information & skills related to Personal Safety
- Build the self-esteem of children in order to prevent & protect them from sexual abuse.
- Reach out to adults and make them aware of their role in keeping children safe.
- Reach out to maximum number of children in schools, community centers, societies, shelter homes etc and
teach them about personal safety so to reduce instances and vulnerability to sexual abuse.
Arpan strongly believes in imparting the PSE to all children across all boundaries and barriers. For this we very often conduct the entire life skill module free of cost in schools or homes for children belonging to the socioeconomically underprivileged sections of society, where they could come from zero income groups to families with a monthly income lesser than INR 7000.00
Neha came from a middle-class family her mother was a house wife and her father worked at a factory. When she was 7 (4th standard), her elder cousin brother from her native place had come to live with them for 2 months. Under the pretext of teaching he would touch her on her private body parts. This made her uncomfortable as she didn't understand what was happening. Slowly he gathered enough courage to rape her. If she refused to fulfill his demands he would threaten her of killing her parents she was too scared to share this with anyone.
After the abuse neha would start cleaning the house. Her academic performance was sadly affected and she began to stammer and soon became an introvert. When she got married, she faced problems in maintaining sexual relationship with her husband. Cleaning and washing became ways of venting out frustration. One of her friend's observed this and referred her to Arpan. Arpan's therapist took counseling sessions with her, in the sessions she narrated the abuse. After the counselling the feeling of guilt, shame, fear, anger etc went away. Her behaviour of excessive cleaning was also stopped; she was able to manage her relationships and eventually worked on the incident of abuse which had caused trauma leading to long term impact.
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Cause category: Education