High time to open up on sexual harassment: Vasireddy Padma
Mangalagiri: Expressing concern over the increase of sexual harassment on children at home and outside, AP State Women's Commission Chairperson...
Mangalagiri: Expressing concern over the increase of sexual harassment on children at home and outside, AP State Women's Commission Chairperson Vasireddy Padma said that the victim children and their parents should come out and lodge complaints against the perpetrators.
Addressing the virtual conference from the Commission office with cybercrime experts, Unicef members and psychiatrists on Friday, Padma said that the Commission had prepared an action plan to bring awareness among various sections of people in the backdrop of a girl committing suicide due to sexual harassment, in Vijayawada recently.
Elaborating the action plan of year-long counselling campaign in government and private educational institutions, Padma appealed to all the government departments to work in tandem to help the Commission programmes. She said efforts are on to set up counselling centres in all educational institutions.
Reciting the Unicef report, the Chairperson said that girl literacy rate might come down if the harassment persists. Girls should be empowered with awareness on POCSO Act and they should be provided with helpline numbers in case of harassment.
Earlier, Commission Secretary Sailaja informed the members about the importance of the conference while Commissioner Director R Suez introduced the members to Chairperson Padma.
Vasireddy Padma exhorted the parents of the children in general and girls in particular not to remain silent over sexual harassment and they should come forward to lodge complaints against such persons. Also, children should inform their parents and teachers immediately in case of such harassments, she urged.
Psychologists said that if the children are found to be experiencing unreasonable fear, parents should understand that it's not natural. Scolding, beating, criticising for every action, awarding severe punishments and sexual harassment of children could be termed as violence against children, they said.
Psychologists also appealed to the teachers to watch the students closely for any deviation in their behaviour. They should be taught about the good touch and bad touch, they added.
Mahila Commission members Gajjala Venkatalakshmi and K Jayasri, cybercrime expert Madhava Reddy, clinical psychologists Swetha and Surekha, Unicef child specialist Somi George Putti, psychologists Nagesh and Kalyani, Nagarjuna University counsellors Dr Saroja, Dr Vimala, Jyoti, Tejovati, AP Childline head B Ravikumar, Unicef former child specialist Sudha Murali, former DSP Rajyalakshmi, Unicef consultant David and others participated.