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Core Design Team Member


The yellow shield

Child sexual abuse, as name suggests is a form of child abuse in which a child is forcefully involved in sexual activities by adults or older adolescent. Forms of child sexual abuse include indecent exposure of private parts, sexual contact with the child, child grooming , exposing child to pornography, forcible kissing, using child to produce child pornography or use of inappropriate language to a child. Unlike in rapes, child abuser is mostly known to the child who can be a trusted family member , school instructor , driver, babysitters, neighbours etc. And hence often it is very difficult to recognise the abuser. Therefore there is a need of better awareness, for educating children and parents directly or indirectly about child sexual abuse.

Project Umbrella is a self sustaining workshop kit that will help anyone learn and spread the awareness about Child Sexual Abuse to children.

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Before we stepped in

In India, the topic of child sexual abuse is still a taboo. It is very difficult to understand the people
the importance of awareness of such topic. Indian population thinks that such issues are a part of
western countries and it is not of their concern. The structure of traditional and conservative society
of India is such a way that they don’t talk about sex and sexuality at all. This hazy knowledge about
these things among children makes them often helpless during the time of any encounter. Most of
the time children themselves don’t realize that they are being abused.
It was very important for the team to understand different Psychological aspects, Laws and regulations and existing work done by different organisations  associated with this topic.


Some interesting Statistics gathered

42 % children are sexually abused in India

52 % of those children are Boys

50 % of the time the abuser is a known person

70 % of the abused cases are not reported 

5-8 years

39 % 

25 % 

13-14 years

36 % 

15-18 years

Source : Study on Child Abuse INDIA 2007

Ministry of Women and Child Development in association with the United Nations

Child Psychology

  • Child psychology focuses on the mental growth and behaviour of children.

  • It  comprises of 3 different concepts, namely, the Social context, the cultural context and socio economical context.

  • Child sexual abuse directly affect the emotional stability of the brain. Repeated exposure to stressful events can affect the brain’s stress

        response, making it more reactive and less                        adaptive. And as a result the child may react to all          situation as there is a danger regardless of the                environment.

  • Some of the possible effects from child sexual abuse may include withdrawal, silent, depression, haters, phobic, suicidal thoughts, sleep disorders, guilty.

Legal Aspects

Before 2012, cases of child sexual abuse were dealt under IPC section 375 that defines rape, IPC Section 376, IPC Section 377 that includes boy sexual abuse (Although forcible sex with a boy is an act of rape, the rape law of the country under IPC does not cover it), IPC Section 354 (Outraging the Modesty of a woman or a girl), IPC Section 509(insulting the modesty of woman), Obscenity and pornography are dealt under

the Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act , 1956, IPC Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, publication and transmission of pornography through the internet.  Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was passed by Indian government in 14th Nov 2012, which deals with Child sexual abuse.

NGOs and existing solutions

In India there are so many NGOs working for protection of child in different part of India. Few of the active NGOs are

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  • Child line is India’s first 24-hours, free, emergency telephone service for children in need of any aid and assistance.

  • Any child or adult can call 1098 for assistance.

  • This organisation not only responds to the emergency need, but they also help children in long term care and rehabilitation. They work with the ailed systems.


TARSHI - Talking About Reproductive And Sexual Health Issues

  • TARSHI is one of the few NGOs in India that works on sexuality, without restricting it to a disease-prevention, violence against women or sexual minorities’ framework, but rather from an affirmative and rights-based approach. Any child or adult can call 1098 for assistance.

  • They also work for sex education.

  • They have also published books on the same



  • Arpan is a registered NGO based in Mumbai and the largest in the world* working on the issue of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) with a team of dedicated and skilled professionals since the year 2006.

  • Arpan is currently working in Mumbai and Thane in Maharashtra with a child centric model of intervention in the area of child sexual abuse (CSA) with a balanced emphasis on prevention and healing components.



  • Break the Silence is a Hyderabad based organisation who work on creating awareness among school teachers, principals and parents.

  • They believe that awareness is the key to prevention of CSA.


Around the country 

We conducted various research on different socio-economical classes in India. The research included contextual enquiry , focus group discussions, telephonic interview and objective questionaries with people from upper middle class , middle class , lower middle class and slums . 

From the research we could conclude that the child sexual abuse has been a problem in all segments of the country regardless of the age , gender or class they belonged to. 


A look through

Sexual abuse can be vulnerable to all children regardless of their age, gender , place they come from or the people they live with. This occurs since most of the children trusts their parents and are taught to obey elders around them or in the society they live in , which often makes the children feel less powerful mentally .

Children experience a list of various mixed emotions inside them such as shame , confusion , fear , depression, guilt , damaged etc and hence they feel dirty and different which makes it difficult for them to express their feelings. 


Psychology of Abused People

“Future is always haunted by our memory”
“The problem I have found was acknowledging that in my adult life the impacts of this abuse were still
affecting my everyday life.”

  • They always have this question “Why it happened to me”

  •  Abusers need strong positive outlook to recover.

  • When the child grows up, Recovery is difficult as acceptance is hard.

  • One has to think good effortlessly to get over it.

Figures we found in the research

2/26 Parents think boys are also susceptible to sexual abuse

25/26  Parents are concern about girl safety

17/26 Parents are uncomfortable to talk to their children about Child sexual abuse

21/26 Parents do not educate their children about Child sexual abuse

Focus Group discussion

The Focus Group was conducted in Rakhimandi, a slum with a population of 3,693 people where most of the population are daily wage workers or rag pickers with a very low literacy rate and nuclear families.

The intension of this session was to understand the mindset, behaviour, culture, practices and social structures of low literacy population to know:

  •  Awareness level among these people.

  • Sensitivity of the people towards the issue. 

  • Prevalent culture and lifestyle of these people.

  • Media/ information sources that influence these people (Information hub for these people).

  • Their approach towards upbringing children.

  • Their openness to issues related to sex, and abuse.

Interview Takeaways 

  • Child Abuse has a huge impact on the behaviour of a child, silence and guilt being the most common behaviours. Post Abuse the Child is usually withdrawn or felt with a feeling of guilt that it was their fault somewhere.

  •  Sometimes victim develop an affinity with the abuser.

  • Parents may not be an ideal person to educate children about such topic since they might hide some of the important aspects.

  • There are families in India that value relations more their child's life.

  • Solution tool should be interactive and not just teaching

  • Solution tool should be interactive and not just teaching

  • You can’t give material directly to children as they might harm their innocence.

  • 4-12 years should be focus.

  • In below poverty line classes, parents think that society is bad and adolescent girls are not safe, while children are safe.

  • In below poverty line classes, parents  haven’t discussed the issue of Child Sexual abuse with their children, While some of them think that there should be an awareness medium to educate the children.



Aware Anita

Educated mother of 2 kids

"I want my children to be aware of child sexual abuse so that they can protect themselves against such abuse"

Hidden Hari

Abuser working as a peon in school

"No one will ever know what I do because children will never tell anyone."


Aspiring Anu

Woman abused as child

"The incident still haunts me and make it difficult for me to be myself"

Feeding and giving basic amenities is my primary concern

Unaware Uday

Feeding and giving my children basic amenities are my primary concern.


Child Behaviour

  • Children can often express their feelings in drawings whereas find it difficult in expressing by reading or writing .

  • Children at their tender age,  receive the strongest impressions from the people around them  learning the way of world .

  • Trauma is hard to get over with. It can affect their development emotionally and mentally leading to depression, isolation, confusion etc.

  • Abused Children mostly hate being touched for years . They develop long-term trust issues and hence might take a long time to recover from it.s

  • They often feel that have done something wrong and fear that their family might reject them.

  • They cant identify the difference between “ I did something bad” and “Something bad happened to me”, which tells that they often blame themselves. 

Parental Behaviour

  • Parents sometimes downplay the feelings of discomfort in their child .

  • They often think that basic necessities fulfilled by the children to have fun is all what is required .

  • Most of the parents think that they would be able to detect the change in behaviour of their children if they go through the sexual abuse but often fail to do so in reality.


Our focus in this project

Our project is an awareness-tool that helps in   educating children (directly/indirectly) about sexual abuse, as a preventive safety measure. It must involve parents and teachers in some manner.

Project Brief


Time to deep dive !

We as a team came up with different ideas that can be looked into to create awareness and help the children understand the difference in what is wrong and right . Some of the initial ideas that we came up with where :

  • Posters on child sexual abuse .

  • Puppet books to keep the children interested in books which will help in creating awareness to the children easily.

  • Interactive dolls that monitors children.

  • Interesting animated videos on sexual abuse bringing awareness to the child. 

  • Building an awareness kit for children.


Why a workshop kit?

Parents mostly feel very uncomfortable in discussing the issues  related to sexual topics with the kids regardless of the care they have for their children . Having spend a significant portion of their time in school , children learn better with their peers from fun and games. They are most likely to understand and enjoy learning about personal safety in schools. A teacher would deliver most of the desired information to a child , while a parent might skip some of the vital information due to the topic being a taboo in their society.


Project Umbrella - Saving innocence through awareness

Project umbrella is an initiative to empower children against sexual abuse. Childhood forms the formative years of a child’s mental development. Sexual abuse is one of the most unanticipated hidden danger which is very often unidentified or ignored. Childhood is an age where a child may not be able comprehend what’s happening to him or her, react to it or raise their voice. An unaware child may easily fall trap to sexual abuse without realising that he/she is wronged. Any such kind of physical, or psychological abuse can scar a child’s life forever.


Red Cards

These cards lay down the interface to abuse Little more advanced questions These cards are distributed among children.

Green Cards

Deals with factual questions It talks about trust circle & gives information about where to go for help. These cards are distributed among children.

Blue Cards

Discuss concrete aspects of child sexual abuse. Wont be distributed among children Answer to question in blue cards will be explained using Poster

Game cards

One side of each card has a question and the other has answers. These cards are held with the conductor

Yellow Cards

Deals with Abstract questions It deals with things like gut feelings, saying NO and accidental touches. These cards are distributed among children.

Hover on the image to view details



Using a self sustainable kit

The workshop kit made for the children is  self sustainable too .The kit contains videos where subject matter experts Dr. Bajpay , trained in psychiatry from NIMHANS, Bangalore and Ms. Sadhana Ghosh , Masters in social work speak about how the sexual abuse kit is to be instructed by the facilitators to the children during the workshop. This helps the facilitators to build up confidence in them for conducting the workshop.

Pilot testing


Pilot testing

We conducted the pilot testing in Vidya Vihar, a  residential school on the outskirts of Lucknow. The children studying in this school were all from a low income background .Most of the kids were not proficient in English , and were mostly from  Hindi medium schools . But their understanding towards the kit was well enough . The pilot test were conducted with the help of facilitators from the NGO Khel .The kits were provided to the facilitators a week prior to have a better understanding and study without providing any additional training regarding it until the pilot tests were done.

Thank you for your time.

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