Prakash and Vadivu, social workers of the Gayatri House participated in a 2 day workshop organised by Tulir- Centre for the Prevention & Healing of Child Sexual Abuse on the 9th and 10th of September.

The title of the workshop was: It’s Everyone’s Business – Working Together to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Primary School Going Age Children and it was facilitated in Tamil. During these 2 days the participants discussed the dynamics of: child sexual abuse, working with children, parents, schools, teachers, civil society, health professionals within the prevailing legal framework and understanding child development that includes sexual development. Engaging with specific materials for each group, and knowing the community resources and services available were integral aspects of the workshop .
As Tulir puts it, “A society’s integrity and worth is not based on whether cases of sexual violence against children happen. Instead it is based on the acceptance of the possibilities of occurrence and proactive steps taken to both safeguard and respond in a timely and appropriate way to ensure that its children may benefit from its care and foresight to truly have the right to be safe all the time, everywhere.”
Our social workers strive daily to make the schools, the families and the communities a safer and happier place for the children of the streets and slums in and around Pondicherry.
The social workers learnt tremendously from the workshop, and they look forward to putting the learning into practice in their everyday work with children in the Gayatri House and other Sharana programs.

Here is what Prakash and Vadivu each had to say about their experience with the workshop:
The two days workshop was new experience for me. I went out of town after a long time and it reminded of my college days.
In the two days workshop I learnt lot of new things about children’s behavior, child sexual abuse, child pronography, and sexuality. Usually we use the terms “Good Touch and Bad Touch”; I learnt during the workshop that we should call it “Safe Touch and Unsafe Touch”.
We also discussed about the behaviour of some of the Gayatri House children. This workshop was an occasion to enhance my knowledge and to know other people from the various NGOs/Organization from various districts in and around Chennai. During the workshop there was lot of information sharing and lots of fun. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I learnt never say Do what I say, but instead to just say Do what I do.
I would like to thank Sharana for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
For me I felt like I understand the children’s feelings more as a mother, from a mother’s point of view.
During the workshop I learnt the physical and mental development of the children in the different age/stages.I also learnt about the causes of sexual abuse, and what are the chances for a child to face abuse.
ow I feel I can teach our children about sexual abuse. and I am sure if some one is abused I will bring the child to face society and live a normal life of dignity. I can help children develop self-confidence.