Par­ents’ bribes, threats make kids vul­ner­a­ble to sex­ual abuse: Study

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Puja Ped­nekar puja.ped­nekar@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A sur­vey con­ducted by Early Child­hood As­so­ci­a­tion (ECA), a pan-In­dia think tank, found that 76% of par­ents in Mum­bai of­ten use threats to dis­ci­pline their chil­dren, and 67% use bribes ‘all the time’ to do so. ECA’s 10-month study, which in­volved 6,000 par­ents in Mum­bai and Ban­ga­lore, warned that such par­ent­ing tech­niques are harm­ful as the ex­pec­ta­tion of bribes can make chil­dren more sus­cep­ti­ble to pae­dophiles, who of­ten use treats to lure kids, while threats can make them less likely to open up about any sex­ual abuse they may be suf­fer­ing.

The study re­vealed that 36% of par­ents in Mum­bai had threat­ened their chil­dren with phys­i­cal pun­ish­ment, 21% had threat­ened to aban­don them, and an­other 23% had threat­ened to send them to a boarding school. Ex­perts warned that such meth­ods can leave long-term scars. ECA chose Mum­bai and Ban­ga­lore for the study be­cause both cities have seen a spate of cases in which chil­dren were sex­u­ally abused in schools or school buses over the past three or four years.

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