Tips to encourage teenagers to stop, fight sexual and gender based exploitation - Hindustan Times

Tips to encourage teenagers to stop, fight against sexual and gender based exploitation

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Apr 11, 2023 01:02 PM IST

Like many other human rights issues, sexual and gender based exploitation has an impact on children and teenagers as well as adults. Here's how to fight it

The world's most widespread but least visible infringement of human rights is sexual and gender-based violence and it involves impairments to a person's bodily, sexual, mental or financial health brought on by socially accepted gender power disparities. Even though boys and men can be abused, it's crucial to keep in mind that most violent crimes involve women as the victims and boys and men as the perpetrators.

Tips to encourage teenagers to stop, fight against sexual and gender based exploitation (Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels)
Tips to encourage teenagers to stop, fight against sexual and gender based exploitation (Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels)

Like many other human rights issues, it has an impact on children and teenagers as well as adults. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Princy Rana, Business Development Manager at Memories India, revealed, “By watching us as role models, younger generations can learn about gender, respect and human rights. As a society, teenagers' ability to develop respectful attitudes mainly relies on us. We can offer our time to help prevent violence by speaking with the younger ones. Generations of awareness will motivate them to take action.”

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He advised, “Start conversations about gender roles early on and challenge stereotyped characteristics of men and women. We must impart a sense of societal responsibility among teenagers. Setting limits and practising with consent should be a daily part of a child's life. Engaging your child in peer mentorship will provide them the opportunity to investigate and contest the attitudes, convictions, and cultural expectations that underlie all gender-based violence in our society.”

Priyanka Joshi, Success and Performance Coach for Teens and Young Adults, shared, “Empowerment and education are key to ending gender-based violence. We must encourage young people to speak out against any form of violence. By providing them with the knowledge to recognize and address harmful behavior, we can create a generation of emotionally stable individuals. One effective approach is to engage youth in open and honest conversations about healthy relationships in schools or online platforms. We can provide resources such as hotlines, counseling services, to help them navigate complex situations.”

She added, “Our focus should also be on eliminating the root of such behaviour. Educating children about emotional regulation is one such step. When children are not taught healthy ways to express their emotions, they might express them in unhealthy manner and addictions, gender based violence, extreme bullying are few of them. Tendency to control, hurt physically and emotionally stem from an individual's own unmet needs. Most unmet needs arise from a difficult childhood, where parents were emotionally unavailable most of the time. Some research also shows that most gender based violence perpetrators were from foster homes and orphanages, where their emotional needs were never met.”

Dr Vivek Bindra, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer, Founder and CEO of Bada Business, said, “Our youth today is exposed to a lot of content and material at their fingertips (literally) but by giving them freedom, we also have on us the onus to give them tools to manage and fight sexual and gender based violence." According to him, while there are various effective ways to deal with them responsibly, here are a few key things to keep in mind -

  • Education and awareness: By educating the young adults of today, about the necessity of respect, consent and gender equality, we can aid them by understanding the gravity of sexual and gender based violence on individuals. Campaigns that create awareness helps them recognise and report such violent acts and incidents.
  • Empowerment and support: Giving our youth the much needed tools and resources will support and help them, deal and cope with victims of sexual and gender based violence better. This includes easy access to legal aid, counseling and safe spaces to discuss their own personal experiences without feeling judged and also receive professional guidance to move forward.
  • Role models and leadership: Encouraging our younger generation to take on a more proactive approach and leadership roles will empower them to be role models for their peers that can help create a more inclusive culture of absolutely no tolerance for sexual and gender based violence. This can be attained through mentorship programs, youth led initiatives, and engaging with community leaders and activists. By working together, we can create a safer and more equal society for all with the necessary education, support, empowerment and leadership opportunities.

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