The WHO reports, India has the world's largest number of sexually abused children. Arpan's key project - Personal Safety Education (PSE) program addresses this issue by giving children age-appropriate information and skills to help protect themselves from sexual abuse. Children who report instances of having been sexually abused are supported with counselling and intervention to make sure abuse stops. Parents and teachers are made aware of the issue also.
The high prevalence of sexual abuse of children in India and its long lasting negative impact pose an imminent threat to violation of children's right to protection and development. Every second child in India is exposed to some form of sexual abuse. Child Sexual Abuse brings in psychological trauma from childhood and can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, dissociative disorders, interpersonal dysfunction, sexual problems, and suicidal ideation in varying degrees amongst individuals.
Personal Safety Education is an educational tool that has been developed by Arpan to teach children between 6-13 years differences between safe and unsafe touches and touching guidelines. Children are also taught to get away from an unsafe situation and seek help from a trusted adult. The program is implemented in schools and helps children participate in their own safety and prevent instances of sexual abuse. Children can thus be saved from the trauma of sexual abuse.
500 children will be able to identify an unsafe situation and seek help from an adult thus protect themselves from sexual abuse. 250 parents and teachers will be able to create a safety net for children and also appropriately respond and help a child when he/she discloses an instance of sexual abuse. These children will grow into healthy adults without any ill effect of sexual abuse. They will also not become potential offenders having understood empathy, respect and touching boundaries.