Physical abuse means violence against children. It is any way of intentionally causing physical harm to a child such as slapping, hitting with an object, punching, kicking, shaking, throwing, biting and burning or scalding. Physical abuse is also when a child is neglected, meaning the caregivers don’t provide for basic needs of the child, like food or safety. It can also include poisoning or attempting to drown a child and causing a child to become unwell.
A safe shelter for a girl facing abuse by the relative
An 8-year old girl and her sibling had lost her mother and their father was not willing to take responsibility of his own children and used to send them to his relative’s places. Once he sent both children to their maternal aunt’s home. During an outreach of CHILDLINE India Foundation, the team was informed that the girl was very sick and appeared traumatised. She was admitted to the local hospital. The girl was diagnosed with malnutrition and weakness by doctors. They also noticed some burn marks on her private parts during examination. The team felt that the girl wanted to share something but was reluctant and fearful. The CHILDLINE India Foundation team approached the local police station, Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and the DCPO for intervention. But despite the efforts, both siblings refused to speak. CHILDLINE India Foundation wrote to CWC to provide a chance to counsel the girl child and then a CHILDLINE India Foundation counsellor spent a few days with her. After a few sessions focussing on building the girl’s confidence, she gradually began to confide and finally shared her trauma. She revealed that her maternal aunt used to burn various parts of her body, especially private parts, with a matchstick. She used to threaten the siblings that she would kill them if they will inform this to anyone. CHILDLINE India Foundation shared the details with the CWC and took the girl to the local police station to lodge an FIR against her maternal aunt. Police took immediate action and arrested the aunt. The siblings were placed in a Children’s Home by the CWC. Both children are learning to live a fearless life.
(*Name and details changed to protect the child)