All forms of violence against children are unacceptable. Frequency, severity of harm and intent to harm are not prerequisites for the definitions of violence.

The third season of Kallola (2017) revolves around ending violence against children. Physical, sexual, emotional and mental violence that often have social and cultural sanction attached to them. Through this forum we intend to draw the attention of the audience towards those forms of violence that may not be very overt but still impact children negatively. Acts of psychological pressure, intimidation, verbal assault and even silence.

A few instances of such forms of violence that may go unnoticed or unaddressed:
  • Forcibly marrying off young children before the age.
  • Girls' being abused physically, mentally and sexually and then the blame being transferred to them and no action being taken against the actual perpetrators.
  • Severe scolding and punishment at school in the guise of disciplining.
  • Comparisons between children being made by adults, impacting these children's' self-esteem and confidence.
  • Bullying by older children/ siblings at home or outside.
  • Online violence - whether through websites, games or by paedophiles.
  • Children being forced into labour at home, farms, garages, wayside motels etc
  • Preferential behaviour of parents & family members towards boys, discriminating against the girls.
  • Children being forced to witness domestic violence at home
  • Children being treated with silence or apathy when asking for help in any of the above situations
The "SOCH BADLO" self evaluation

Given below are a few incidents that we come across often in our daily lives, that can be handled in a different way. Ask yourself WHAT YOU WOULD DO IF...

  • Your daughter came up to you and complained about being uncomfortable with the way a certain teacher at school or a certain relative at home, touched her when she is alone? Would you scold your daughter for lying? Or would you take steps that she is not troubled again?
  • You came across a small boy serving you at a way side dhaba? Or you saw a young boy helping out the mechanic to repair your car at a garage? Would you ignore and accept that the child is earning a living? Or would you convince his parents/ employer to send him to school instead?
  • Your domestic help announced the marriage of her teenage daughter studying in 6th or 7th standard? Would you simply congratulate her or would you try and convince her to allow her to study further?
  • You came across a family friend or relative that treats the girls differently from boys? Like sending the boys to school/tutorials and keeping the girls home to help with domestic chores/study home?
  • Your neighbor's son /daughter came to you for help because his/ her father was abusing and beating up the mother and wouldn't stop.
  • Your daughter/son/niece/nephew confided in you about being victimized by an act of online violence ( like bullying or blackmailing etc)
  • In a social gathering ,your friend kept praising one child of his incessantly, and simultaneously kept saying that the other one isn't as talented or as bright , while both are present there?
  • Someone you know, has a habit shouting and of raising his hand on his children for every thing ? For eg: breaking a show piece, coming home late, scoring average marks in exams etc
  • Do you accept these situations as normal, and a part of life? Or do you think each of us need to change our attitudes and start taking steps to end all these different sort of violent behaviours? End violence against children! Soch badlo!
A statistical analysis of violence against children
  • In 2012 alone, homicide took the lives of about 95,000 children and adolescents under the age of 20 - almost 1 in 5 of all homicide victims that year.
  • Around 6 in 10 children between the ages of 2 and 14 worldwide (almost a billion) are subjected to physical punishment by their caregivers on are regular basis.
  • Close to 1 in 3 students between the ages of 13 and 15 worldwide report involvement in one or more physical Fights in the last year.
  • Slightly more than 1 in 3 students between the ages of 13 and 15 worldwide experience bullying on a regular basis.
  • Almost one quarter of girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide (almost 70 million) report being victims of some form of physical violence since age 15.
  • Around 120 million girls under the age of 20 (about 1 in 10) have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. Boys are also at risk, although a global estimate is unavailable due to the lack of comparable data in most countries.
  • One in 3 adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide (84 million) have been the victims of any emotional, physical or sexual violence committed by their husbands or partners at some point in their lives.
  • About 3 in 10 adults worldwide believe that physical punishment is necessary to properly raise or educate children.
  • Close to half of all girls aged 15 to 19worldwide (around 126 million) think a husband is sometimes justified in hitting or beating his wife.

Note :Estimates are based on a subset of countries with available data covering 50 per cent or more of the global population of children or adults within the respective age ranges.

Sources :UNICEF global databases, 2014, based on Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), Global School-basedStudent Health Surveys (GSHS), Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), other national surveys, and relevant studies. Population data are from: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2012 revision, CD-ROM edition, United Nations, New York, 2013.

" Without the threat of violence, girls and boys are free to develop their talents and skills to their full potential and shape their future. The potential for positive change is enormous, but for now violence remains a pervasive phenomenon that blights the life of millions of children, haunts entire communities and stifles the prospects for sustainable development and social progress." -Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (October 2013).

HOW CAN WE BRING ABOUT CHANGE?

WHAT IS OUR ROLE IN DISPELLING THIS PREVALENT FORM OF SILENT VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN ,THAT'S SO OFTEN OVERLOOKED OR IGNORED?

All of us have witnessed such acts in our daily lives . Either in our own house or in our neighbour's house or in society at large. As individuals, each of us needs to recognize and act upon it as an area of immediate concern!

KALLOLA-3 is your opportunity to showcase your views on this issue , and through your creative input spread awareness on the same!