Unfortunately, Child abuse is a common occurrence in Pakistan which tries to cover itself under the guise of religion but it is shocking and sad that pedophilia or child abuse is rampant in Pakistani society. Child abuse increased by 20 percent in the year 2019 compared to 2018, with more than 40 children suffering some form of abuse every day in Pakistan. Zainab, Farishta and so many other children abused every day in Pakistan. Zainab and Farishta cases are just the tip of the iceberg. As many as 11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported from across Pakistan every day and some Child abuse cases often a hidden phenomenon especially when it happens in the home or by family members.

The most commonly reported crimes against children were abduction, sodomy, and rape. After eight-year-old Zainab Ansari’s chilling rape and murder case, Pakistanis are finally speaking up on child sexual abuse, breaking the taboo and traditional silence. Pakistanis are urging people to break the taboo and talk about child abuse to protect the kids but Because if we don’t, we’re all facilitators of child abuse through our collective silence preferring a misplaced sense of humor over justice empowering abusers and weakening survivors.

What is child abuse?

Child abuse includes any threatening or violent interaction of physical, psychological or sexual nature that may cause physical or psychological harm to the child. This includes neglect and withholding essential aid, medical care and education. Sexual and physical abuse are forms of physical violence; in addition, forms of mental abuse also exist. Forced marriage at a very young age and ritual circumcision of girls are also forms of child abuse. Children have the right to protection from all forms of maltreatment, abuse, neglect, and violence.

What is child pornography?

Basically, Child pornography is pornography that exploits children for sexual stimulation. It may be produced with the direct involvement or sexual assault of a child (also known as child sexual abuse images) or it may be simulated child pornography. Abuse of the child occurs during the sexual acts or lascivious exhibitions of genitals or public areas which are recorded in the production of child pornography. Child pornography may use a variety of media, including writings, magazines, photos, sculpture, drawing, cartoon, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games.

How to save our children?

Child abuse haunts Pakistani society due to many reasons. There are often chances that the perpetrator might be a family member and the lack of communication gap between parents and their children and their blind trust for family members contributes to child abuse occurring in this society. Now that we are more aware of the problem as a society, we need to take steps to protect children from further abuse. here are six practical ways to protect your children from predators.

• Name body parts and talk about them very early. Use proper names for body parts, or at least teach your child what the actual words are for their body parts. Feeling comfortable using these words and knowing what they mean can help a child talk clearly if something inappropriate has happened.

• Tell your child that their private parts are called private because they are not for everyone to see. Explain that mommy and daddy can see them naked, but people outside of the home should only see them with their clothes on.

• Tell your child matter-of-factly that no one should touch their private parts and that no one should ask them to touch somebody else’s private parts. Parents will often forget the second part of this sentence. Sexual abuse often begins with the perpetrator asking the child to touch them or someone else.

• Most perpetrators will tell the child to keep the abuse a secret. Tell your kids that no matter what anyone tells them, body secrets are not okay and they should always tell you if someone tries to make them keep a body secret.

• Tell your kids that no one should ever take pictures of their private parts.

• Tell them that it’s okay to tell an adult they have to leave, if something that feels wrong is happening, and help give them words to get out of uncomfortable situations. Tell your child that if someone wants to see or touch private parts they can tell them that they need to leave.