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Events » 2nd Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Workshop
Another Batch Trained for CSA Awareness
Sneha Kupekar, Communication and Strategic Initiatives (CSI) Department
Mumbai, July 16: The second training for lady volunteers in Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) awareness saw participation from 20 enthusiastic volunteers, from diverse walks of life. Students, mothers and working professionals attended the two day workshop, while five resource persons took them through various aspects of CSA.
The CSA awareness training was conducted at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) International House, Mumbai Central on the 15th and the 16th of July. The principal objectives of the training were to equip all volunteers with an overview of CSA related issues ( knowledge) and to provide them with practical communication skills to prepare them for taking on the task of sensitising children in schools.
The first session on Day 1 was one that participants had been waiting for. Volunteers initially had only a vague idea on the '1098 service and how it works'. The session to provide clarity on the CHILDLINE service was conducted by Kiran More, from the Committed Communities Development Trust (CCDT), a CHILDLINE partner. More took the participants through the processes that are put in place once a call is received on 1098, and also helped them understand the partner network of CHILDLINE consisting of collab and nodal partners.
This was followed by a session on 'Child Protection and Child Rights (CPCR)' conducted by Nishit Kumar, Head- Communication and Strategic Initiatives, CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF). Starting with a test on 'Rights in India'; Kumar took the participants through the rights given to the Citizens of India by the Constitution, and those specific to children, while introducing them to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The fact that India is a signatory to the UNCRC came as a surprise to the participants and many also said that 'child rights' as a concept was an eye opener for them.
The session that forced all the participants to put on their thinking caps and understand real life case studies, was the session by Trupti Panchal, Professor-Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on 'Understanding the issue of CSA'. Panchal covered the entire spectrum of CSA- covering what is CSA, signs and symptoms that one could watch out for, handling disclosure etc. While the first half was about ensuring that all the participants were on the same page as far as understanding the issue is concerned; the second half made the participants come up with ways of handling various real life case studies as part of teamwork.
Shikha Tandel, a student volunteer said, "The session was an eye opener for me. I hadn't ever thought of what my approach would be on the field if a student disclosed an incident of sexual abuse after a sensitization session. This session has definitely equipped me with the knowledge and sensitivity that is required while talking to children about such a sensitive topic. "
Post lunch on the first day, Jaya Aiyappa, a counselor and sex educator conducted the 'Child Psychology' session. Emphasising on the care and compassion approach, she said, "It's crucial for parents and teachers to always 'be there' for children, believe in them and use non threatening mediums such as play therapy to help the child heal." Discussing how the impact of CSA differs on the basis of the severity, identity, duration and the age at which abuse takes place, Aiyappa also helped volunteers understand a child's feelings of guilt, shame, betrayal, powerlessness and helplessness.
Day 2 began with the crucial session on 'Communication Skills' conducted by Sneha Shah and Shashank Gupta from Isra- Centre for Training & Development. The second day of the workshop was dedicated only for practical training and Shah and Gupta ensured that the participants not only practiced their story telling skills, but also realized the important role that body language and non verbal communication play in creating an overall impression. The session also gave the volunteers tips on handling difficult children in the audience or dealing with difficult situations or children on the field.
Naina Salian, a working professional said, "The Communication Skills session was extremely helpful. I learnt tips which will help me not only on the field, but also overall at my workplace as well. I am eagerly looking forward to starting my actual sessions."
The volunteers were provided with their schools lists drawn up according to their area and language preference, post the wrap up session conducted by Anubhuti Lal, Project Coordinator, CIF and Sneha Kupekar, Asst. Project Coordinator, CIF. The two day workshop resulted in the training of 20 volunteers as 'Certified Trainers in CSA Awareness.'
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