Arpan’s Personal Safety Education Programme

About the Project

This project is one of the 2019 WISE Awards winners. 

At Arpan, we believe every child matters. Every child has a right to be safe and protected from sexual abuse and heal from its ill effects. As the largest NGO addressing the phenomenon of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in the country, we provide prevention and intervention services to children and adults.

 

Context and Issue

In India, where there is tremendous social & cultural taboo around sexuality, conversation and awareness about Child Sexual Abuse is non-existent. Sexual abuse of children is often hidden and under-reported. 53% children have faced CSA as per a Government study. There is limited acceptance of the prevalence of CSA and that it: (i) impacts children across ages/ socio-economic classes/ genders, (ii) affects mental health, (iii) impacts classroom behaviour, attitude to classwork & academic performance, and, (iv) can have lifelong impact if unhealed.

 

The Solution and Impact

The PSE program is Arpan’s flagship life-skills education program that provides children with knowledge & skills to participate in their safety in an unsafe situation. Under this program, we: (i) empower children by imparting age-appropriate information & skills to identify, refuse and report unsafe situations, (ii) work with adult caregivers to create awareness and provide skills to keep children safe, (iii) work individually with each child to provide a safe space for disclosure, (iv) support children with counselling, post-disclosure, and, (v) work with children who indulge in sexual misbehaviour, to prevent re-offending. The program is unique in that it responds to the issue of CSA with a two-tiered approach – of prevention as well as healing. It facilitates open communication and strengthens interpersonal relationships, which ensures a positive learning environment and thus better educational outcomes and school performance.

 

Future Developments

Arpan plans to work with 90000 children and 30000 adults in the next 3 years. Our Online Learning program (www.arpanelearn.com), a self-paced e-learning program currently being piloted, aims to provide PSE messages through a fun and impactful online interface and increase outreach. In parallel, Arpan will continue to train various stakeholders (5000 in the next 3 years) and increase reach through partnerships as well as influence policy to integrate PSE in school curricula at the state and national level.

July 23, 2019 (last update 01-31-2020)