THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when the lives of school girls are getting wrecked by casual flings, Valentine’s Day can also inspire dreadful thoughts. “Love is all fine, but young immature minds are blind to the consequences,” said leading psychoanalyst C. J. John. “It is high time we tought our children to guard against relationship abuse. Let such a learning process begin from Valentine’s Day itself.” In the last seven months, Childline has come across 53 cases of child sexual abuse, almost all of which involve a romantic fling between a schoolgirl below the age of 15 and youth below the age of 25. In seven of these cases, the girls were pregnant.
“There are many instances where pregnancies are revealed too late, after five or six months, because these little ones are totally ignorant of the changes taking place in their body," Dr John said. This is why Dr John says that girls should be taught that certain kinds of behaviour in a relationship, like getting too intimate or asking to cheat on parents or watching pornography, are to be repelled. Family atmosphere has got a lot to do with the increasing vulnerability of little girls.
“We have found that school girls who become pregnant come from single parent homes. Even when there is a father, he would be a drunkard or an invalid, as good as absent. And these mothers will be construction daily wagers or home maids, professions that require them to frequently shift from one place to the other, most of the time unable to return home in the evening” said P. E. Usha, the director of Mahila Samakhya Society that runs eight Nirbhaya Homes in the state. No wonder, the lovers find the girls’ homes the safest place for a secret rendezvous.
Bibby Thomas, a teacher at Choice School, Kochi, said it was also important that children trust parents enough to open up to them. “They should feel that they can tell anything to their parents,” she said. For instance, if a child comes home in a grumpy mood, parents should ask why. Or else, as Dr John puts it, there are young men waiting outside to ask these girls the very question their parents should have been posing. “They are like foxes, waiting on the sly to pounce,” he added....