As a publishing platform that also runs literary campaigns, it is our mission to use our power not only to entertain but to educate. With this aspect in mind Daastan hosted a live session about child abuse to raise awareness about its many forms and provide advice to primary caregivers.
Samin Alam our marketing lead, invited Ashhad Qureshi and Dr.Hadee Atyub to provide useful insight on this matter. They discussed how parents should address these situations and protect their children from predators in the society. Daastan believes that taboo topics like these need to be put out infront of society to break the norm of staying silent.
Mera Jism Mera Hai – A Book on Child Abuse
Ashhad Qureshi, a Chicago University graduate is also the author of the book ‘Mera Jism Mera Hai’. He is currently working in a sexual assault hotline in the USA. Having dealt with a similar situation in his childhood, Ashhad made it his goal to educate others about the severity and impact of such scenarios through his book.
Samin asked Ashhad how he plans to convey his message to modern day children who aren’t usually interested in reading. He replied that this book is primarily for those children who don’t have access to the internet. Children who are fortunate enough to have such privileges will soon be able to read a digitized form of the book. He also mentioned, donations to support the cause of this book can be made at Daastan.
The book has beautiful illustrations and easy to read language for children. It is a practical way for parents to teach children how to protect themselves from predators. Ashhad also states that it is difficult for children to tell parents about such incidents because they usually don’t recognize what happened to them as a form of abuse. He hopes that his work can successfully reach parents and children everywhere.
Child Abuse From a Medical Perspective
Our next guest was Dr.Hadee Atyub who is currently working at Shalamar Hospital Lahore. Dr.Hadee is a child specialist who loves to interact with parents and children to create a positive effect on mental as well as physical health. He aims to educate caregivers on these topics so these problems are recognised and treated.
Samin asked Dr Hadee what his views on the subject. Dr. Hadee replied that unfortunately this is a widespread problem especially in kids and adolescents. Children are exposed to mental as well as physical abuse. Witnessing abuse in domestic and graphical forms or being bullied at school has a negative impact on a child’s wellness.
How To Identify Abuse In Your Child?
Dr.Hadee also talked about the signs of abuse should parents watch out for. Children display physical as well as mental signs of abuse. These can be any obvious injuries along with increased irritability and clinginess. The victim may also show hesitance in going to the place the incident occurred. Teens that fall prey to such incidents are at high risk for attempting to harm themselves and others. Children on the other hand may start wetting the bed all of a sudden or stuttering.
In terms of medical treatment the child should be immediately brought to the hospital to check for STDs and collection of forensic samples.
A Message to Parents
At the end of the session, Samin asked Dr.Hadee how parents could protect their children and educate them on these matters. According to him it is important to encourage a child to talk about their day. Children also need to be taught to say no to things they are not comfortable with and be fully aware that their private parts are ‘private’.
Apart from that, parents should always keep an eye out for individuals who seem overly friendly towards their child and people who the child is not comfortable around. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about their overall wellbeing, not just medical concerns.
Response from Viewers
Viewers showed an immense response in the form of questions and comments. Some asked about the role that siblings can play in tackling this problem. Dr.Hadee responded that older siblings should keep an eye on younger ones and have good communication with them. As per inquiry from other viewers, a digitized version of the book ‘Mera Jism Mera Hai’ is available at Daastan. It can also be ordered online here.
At Daastan we want to make the world a better place for our children. Join us today and play your part!