In 2012, the protection of children from sexual offences act (POCSO) was introduced. The act recognises both contact and non contact abuse and also has prescribed a lot of procedures and provisions to ensure mental and physical safety of the child and speedy justice.
Children are the most disenfranchised section of a population. We assume that they look okay they must be okay, but three out of four of the world’s children – 1.7 billion – have experienced inter-personal violence in a previous year. In many such cases children suffer enough trauma to have long lasting negative effects in terms of mental health and physical health. Stakes are high because the abuse can change the architecture of the developing brain. Trauma often pervades every aspect of the person’s life. As such, it often lasts well into adulthood and can shorten lifespan by decades.
It is not uncommon that for children undergoing trauma from sexual abuse, even living is an act of bravery. Often, the child may not have memories of the trauma incident intact but feelings. Abuse occurs over a long period of time and the perpetrator is usually not a stranger but someone who the child knows. This makes it harder for the child to report their abuse to a trustworthy adult, let alone law enforcement. Every day the abused spends in pain or shame is another day the abuser has to inflict themselves on the child.
Even after the abuse ends: In re-experiencing trauma, an adult who has experienced CSA as child may feel afraid for their life. Symptoms of such reexperiences are dissociation from reality, daydreaming, not paying attention. He, she or they are also susceptible to higher rates of addiction, suicidality, eating disorder and obesity.
The Jimme Foundation wishes to address the issue of Child Sexual Abuse by taking up a sustained commitment to spreading accurate information about the issue to various sectors of the society. We aim to do this by sharing stories and sensitising allies on the issue such that people who have faced trauma in their childhood are not othered.
Jimme has been engaged in sensitizing students of various colleges in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai. We have also presented talks on gender and sexuality at corporates and schools.
Jimme believes that the first response to crises like cruelty and bullying to animals and fellow humans is one that sets the tone for subsequent ones and is, therefore, crucial. The Jimme Fellows Programme is a five-day programme designed to level up all and any who display a keenness for first response. Jimme assures lifelong mentorship and guidance to their fellows.