‘Good touch, bad touch’ confusing, replace them: Legal body on POCSO debate

Parvathi Menon A, counsel for KeLSA, submitted that the unhealthy notion prevailing in society, especially among children, regarding sex education is a major concern to be addressed.

Published: 26th July 2022 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2022 09:50 AM   |  A+A-

POCSO, child abuse

Image for representational purpose. ( Express Illustration)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Even as a debate is raging on how to make children aware of ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ in the wake of the alarming rise in the number of POCSO cases, a legal body has said the very terms are confusing and should be replaced.

“The terms, ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’, seem to baffle children since there is ambiguity and hence should be replaced with ‘secret touch’, ‘safe touch’, ‘unsafe touch’ or ‘unwanted touch’,”  the Kerala State Legal Service Authority (KeLSA) said in a report submitted to the High Court. “The term ‘Bad touch’ is too general and should be made more clear,” it said.

Observing that youngsters were getting involved in sex without being aware of the harsh punishment under POCSO Act and then lose their future, the High Court had asked the state government and Central Board of School Education (CBSE) to revamp sex education in the state.

Parvathi Menon A, counsel for KeLSA, submitted that the unhealthy notion prevailing in society, especially among children, regarding sex education is a major concern to be addressed.

They relate the term ‘sex’ to the act of sex alone and nurture pervert notions about it by getting information from dubious sources. Sex education should include a lot of other issues like biological concepts.

The KeLSA report stated that children should be made aware of general atrocities happening around them. They  should be empowered to respond to such atrocities and defend themselves.

Lack of proper education and misguidance have resulted in children misrepresenting and wrongly reacting to genuine gestures of love from family members.

This can be addressed only by sensible, balanced training imparted by psychologists and teachers. It stated that children have to be made aware of negative and dark elements in society but at the same time they should not grow up judgmental and develop a fear of society.

ALSO READ | “Good touch-Bad touch” not enough, need to revoke these misnomers

Children should be empowered to defend themselves: KeLSA

The KeLSA report stated that children should be made aware of general atrocities happening around them. They  should be empowered to respond to such atrocities and defend themselves.

Lack of proper education and misguidance have resulted in children misrepresenting and wrongly reacting to genuine gestures of love from family members.

This can be addressed only by sensible, balanced training imparted by psychologists and teachers.

It stated that children have to be made aware of negative and dark elements in society but at the same time they should not grow up judgmental and develop a fear of society.

The KeLSA said that children should be made aware to respect privacy associated with their own bodies.

They should be scientifically made aware of the biological changes happening in their body and should be tought how to handle the same.

Shocking incidents are reported in which children between the age of 13 and 14 took photographs of their body parts and circulated them on social media as part of a ‘dare’ game. They first started this with their friends, fully knowing this will be circulated.

When the parents or the relatives came to know about this, the damage had already been done.

“Children may also be apprised of the biological names of various body parts so that they are not tricked into abuses by terming private parts as ‘toys’ and other similar words to which children get attracted...There have been instances that the child comes and says I was made to play with the toy,” the counsel said.

Immature, negligent and unbridled usage of online platforms results in unwarranted relationships ending up in cyber crimes and also sexual offences, the report stated.

‘MAKE AWARENESS VIDEOS MANDATORY AT THEATRES’

The HC on Monday orally observed that screening short video providing awareness on Pocso Act — like the one on anti-tobacco drive — should be made mandatory in theatres before movies.



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