Myth: Home is the safest haven.
Fact: The extent of abuse faced by children in their homes clearly belies this belief. Often children are seen as their parents’ private property who can be used (rather abused) any which way.
We witness incidents of fathers selling their daughters to friends or strangers for money every other day. Studies on sexual abuse have shown that incest is the most common form of abuse. There are also many cases of fathers’ raping their daughters being reported in the media and proved in the court. Female infanticide i.e. killing of new born girls, child sacrifices resulting from superstition, dedication of girls to gods and goddesses in the name of custom and tradition such as ‘jogini’ or ‘devadasi’ in some parts of India, are some forms of home-based violence. Marrying away young children is not out of love for children but a need to pass on the responsibility of care and nurturance, even if that brings ill health and trauma to their own child.
While these are some extreme cases, beating up children ruthlessly is a common practice in almost every household in the country. Neglect too has become a common practice in both poor and rich families, often leading to different forms of behavioural problems, particularly depression, amongst children.
So think again ‘Is Home the Safest Haven?’