CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE: PSYCHO-SOCIAL IMPACT AND MEDIA REPORTING

National Institute of Psychology (NIP) with its emphasis on applied research intact substantially increased its teaching and training activities including M. Phil and Ph.D. in psychology programs, both the degrees requiring development of high level research skills among students who produce research theses on successful completion of their studies. Alumni Association of National Institute of Psychology (AANIP) are spread all over the world, many of them having splendid accomplishments in their personal and professional fields. AA-NIP is fostering a proactive interaction of NIP’s Alumni Community by proposing and developing initiatives that reflect NIP’s decade’s long legacy. Since its formal inception in 2011, NIP alumni board is trying to organize brain storming sessions on varied nature of psychosocial issues to educate and create awareness among society.

National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University in collaboration with national press club held a talk on child sexual abuse: psychosocial impact and media reporting on March 30th, 2018. Participants included the Patron in Chief Alumni Association Prof. Dr. Anila Kamal, President Alumni Association Dr. Shoaib Kiani, Vice president Alumni Association Dr. Tanvir Akhtar, and number of alumni graduates, faculty, students, and guests. Dr. Humaira Jami (Faculty NIP) convened the discussion. There were many journalists participated in this discussion including President national press club Muhammad Tariq Chaudhry, General secretary press club Mr. Shakeel Anjum, senior journalists and anchor person Amir Zia. Fouzia Kalssom, and Maira Imran. With journalist community expert on child sexual abuse and human right activist, Maliha Hussain attended the event. Speakers in round table discussion emphasized upon coordination from civil society, academia, and media institutions to eliminate menace of child abuse in society and also urged media to play responsible role in this regard.

Highlighted points of discussion are as follows:

  • Linkages require for bridging gap between academia, researchers and policy maker to evolve prudent policy and legislation to stop child abuse in society.
  • Media should play a responsible role in reporting on child abuse and portrays better stories to aware common people in this regard. While, highlighting the famous Zainab murder case, participants were with the view that instead of creating sensation and sentimental approach, media must present debate on the real issues for solution on these sensitive cases.
  • Responsible person in such crime should be identified to stop this inhuman offense of child sexual abuse for creating deterrence in future.
  • Cultural and religious taboos must need to remove and also stressed to parents and teachers to education children in this regard.
  • Child sexual abuse is big issue in our society, which needs to be resolved. Media is to highlight the issues of child crime for a common public in this regards for bring to an end these crime in future. Teacher and parents are encouraged to play their role to educate the children and aware them.
  • Strong and independent media regulators need to seriously highlight the issues of human interest. Legislation is required to curtail the commercialization in media and aware the   general public on sensitive issues of human right and child sexual abuse.
  • Sexual abuse gives bad impact on children’s’ personality and harms the self- esteem of victim. Coordinated efforts from all segment of society need to take pre-emptive measure and also rehabilitate the victims for making them beneficial citizens in future.
  • Proposed legislation and proper policy frame work for stopping this crime in society.
  • Government to provide recreational facilities and outdoor games for the people, where they consume their energy in positive way.
  • We need to remove social and religious taboos for resolving the issue of children sexual abuse.
  • It is highlighted there is need to see the corporate aspect of this heinous crime and proper policy formation in this regard is required.
  • Parents are needed to care about their children and do not give them digital devices and mobile before mature age.
  • Overall, discussion was ended up with main emphasis on application of media psychology that will help the media personnel to train in reporting for the effective role of media. Similarly, the grass root level of parenting is important to educate the children about their personal safety. In addition, all stakeholders (i.e., parents, teachers, educationist, professional care givers, health experts, policy makers, human right activists, and non-governmental organization) of the society are equally important to play their pivotal role in controlling this social menace.

    Reported by: Dr. Irum Naqvi