Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It takes a community and Scooby Doo's to protect a child

My colleagues and I partnered with an Indian NGO Tulir (www.tulir.org) - Center for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse. We have successfully raised funds to help produce an educational animated film focusing on the topic of child sexual abuse. The film will be produced in three languages targeting over 100,000 children across India.

To support this initiative, 8 of us participated in the JP Morgan run in Singapore on April 21. Dressed as Scooby Doo & Friends characters we raised money from colleagues across offices who generously donated over S$10,000 to help this project.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Talkathon to address child sexual abuse

TAALK will host a 24 hour internet radio show with guest speakers each hour covering a variety of topics related to child sexual abuse awareness, prevention and support. Hear 60+ speakers from around the world. For more details click on

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Seminar on Best Practices in Investigation & Prosecution of Sexual Offences Against Children

 While only a minuscule number of  child victims of sexual violence and their families are   formally within the purview of the criminal justice system (CJS), increasing engagement with it has brought attention to the gaps and lacunae in the investigative and  trial processes and procedures. Having to face the criminal justice system that is geared to the needs of adults can be a difficult experience for any victim of crime. When it comes to affected  children the experience can be doubly traumatic, thereby seriously undermining the full respect of the rights of the child. At the very least it can be intimidating. The Police, Doctors, Forensic scientists and  Public Prosecutors each have an unique but integrated role in responding to reported cases of sexual offenses against children.To that end it is imperative that these duty bearers in Chennai  identify and address existing lacunae, share best practices and evolve simple  and uniform  protocols and proceedures   to efficiently handle cases of sexual violence against children.Tulir organized  the Seminar at the Modern Control Room, Commissionarate of Police, Chennai.
Joint Commissioner ( South) Mr Sakthivel's  inaugural address  set the tone for the deliberations relevant observations  which were followed by presentations  and Q & A. The eminent panel - Dr Santhakumar, Director of Forensics and Dr Selvakumar, Asst. Prof. Madars Medical College, Ms Tara from the Forensics Sciences Laborartory and Mr Panneerselvam, Addl. Public prosecutor, shared their expertise and clarified  the queries from the particpants who represented multiple disciplines.
Concrete and viable reccomendations  will be forwarded to appropriate authorities for consideration.
Dignity on Trial, A report by HRW on "India's need for Sound Standards for Conducting and Intepreting Forensic Examinations of Rape Survivors", was  distributed, and we were very pleased that Ms Aruna Kashyap, author of the report partcipated in the Seminar and shared her views.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"I am" becaue we are

I am Abhimanyu - a very sensitive and insightful   film which
underscores the point that it is possible to amke a film on child sexual abuse without being voyueristic  or sensational, or  crude. And that too when it is not a documentary.
Brillinat is the way Onir has captured the  little nuances which show the insidious way abus ehappens and impacts.
I am Omar, which followed the same vein of direction, also  opened new avenues of  understanding of  being gay, against the current backdrop of attitudes and the law, in India
The panel discussion  moderated by Bharadwaj Rangan , Film Critic, New Indian Express which followed  was  lively, thought provoking  and informative   ranging from film based to issue based questions, with active audience particpation and betweeen the panelists -  Aniruddh from Shakti Centre, Onir and Arjun Mathur  who acts as Omar, Vidya from Tulir and Shaila, Advocate and Legal Scholar Shaila

Monday, December 6, 2010

Walk your Voice - Rallying against Child Sexual Abuse

A video of Walk your Voice - Rallying against Child Sexual Abuse which happened a fortnight ago at Besant Nagar Beach, Chennai and saw active particiaption from concerned citizens as well as engagement with bystanders.

Ethiraj College takes a stand!

 Many thanks to the Prinicipal for supporting the Daring to Care campaign which is working  towards at least the citizens of Chennai being in one state of mind - to prevent and address sexual violence.
And  we hope many more realise that all that  we ask of them/it takes is to provide us a little space to set up a kiosk/desk to set up our dispaly and arrange the material for distribution

'Sensitive reporting of child sex abuse must'


'Sensitive reporting of child sex abuse must'

First Published : 03 Dec 2010 02:34:48 AM IST
Last Updated : 03 Dec 2010 10:51:58 AM IST

CHENNAI: A panel discussion on the role of media in shaping opinion on sexual violence against children unanimously called for increased sensitivity to the issue among both journalists and civil society. The panelists called for strong legislation to punish media outfits that pushed the boundaries of sensitive reportage, while also calling on civil society to express themselves in ways that would pressure the government to react decisively to incidents of child sexual abuse.

Noted Tamil writer and columnist Gnani blamed the inability of the Indian society to deal with matters of sexuality for the lack of discourse or proper reaction to instances of child sexual abuse. "We are supposed to be conservative, when we are actually perverted and voyeuristic. Till we deal with sexuality, how can we address sexual abuse?" he asked. He also pointed out that the disturbing trend of parents dressing their children up like glam dolls could be one of the triggers for molestation.

The New Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Aditya Sinha on the other hand called for the enforcement of ethical commitments by media organisations. "Only one news organisation in the country has a publicly stated code of ethics. Stringent legislation is required to check insensitive publication of sexual crimes against children, as media outfits have demonstrated they cannot regulate themselves," said Sinha.

Nilanjana Bose, Features Editor of CNNIBN, said though some media houses were making attempts to be responsible, there was little feedback from the public through regulatory bodies, such as the National Broadcasters' Association.

Every member of the panel though, agreed on the need to sensitise journalists to the precariousness of victims of sexual violence against children. The panel discussion, organised by Tulir, an organisation fighting child sexual abuse, also featured Times of India Metro Editor Arun Ram and media critic Sevanti Ninan. Legal scholar Geeta Ramaseshan moderated the discussion.