PSEP in schools to train children self-protection

SHILLONG: The inauguration of piloting Personal Safety Education Programme (PSEP) in schools which is a school-based curriculum that empowers children to participate in their own protection from sexual abuse, was held at Bethany Society on Wednesday.


Faith Foundation is piloting the programme in selected government schools in Shillong in collaboration with the Department of Education and Literacy SSA/RMSA.


The Faith Foundation is organizing the inauguration programme to introduce the PSEP to the Principals of schools and other stakeholders.


With alarming growth of sexual crimes against children, the PSEP aims to prevent children from sexual abuse and will work together with children in schools and communities.


Chairperson of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), Meena Kharkongor said the PSEP would be helpful and called upon the schools to implement it.


Terming it as an innovative measure, she said, “This is a time when school authorities can probe into a child’s behavior on what are they going through. Through these, we can find out the nature of the sexual assault that the child had undergone and get to know the perpetrators.”


Stating that in most cases of abuse, perpetrators are people close to the children, she pointed out some children may not open up even if he or she comes across any kind of assault, molestation or sexual exploitation


Kharkongor urged the foundation to work hand-in-hand with the Commission to create a better safety net for children.


“Despite laws like the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), such things are still happening,” she said.


Kharkongor called upon the society to unite together and find solutions in creating a ‘safety net’ for children.  


Meanwhile, program manager of North East Network (NEN), Joy Syiem said need of the hour was the change of mindsets of the society even as awareness programme are being conducted.


East Khasi Hills report high cases of crime against children

The SP, State Crime Records Bureau, DN Jyrwa pointed out about 146 cognizable crimes against children were reported in East Khasi Hills which is the highest as compared to the other 10 districts in the state in the year 2017.


With 146 cases in East Khasi Hills reported in 2017, a wide gap is seen in figures in other districts such as West Khasi Hills -46 numbers, Ri-Bhoi-42, West Garo Hills -34, West Jaintia Hills -30, East Jaintia Hills -19, North Garo Hills -16, South West Garo Hills -15, South West Khasi Hills -8, South Garo Hills -4, East Garo Hills-0.


Jyrwa pointed out to the low conviction cases, where in 2018 (January-March), a total of 66 cases were registered in the entire state, however, there was no conviction cases.


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