How safe do you think your children are? What is your reaction towards child sex abuse cases that you read in the newspapers? What do you think is the probability of such an incident happening within your close circle? Do you know that boys could also be victims of child abuse?
I’ll tell you what most of you answered.
You think your children are in the safest hands all the time. You feel that what you read in the newspapers happens to one in a thousand children and mainly because of parents’ ignorance. You think that you hail from a decent family and there is no room for such incidents. And you want to ask me, ‘Did you mean B-O-Y-S?!’
The Silent Scream raises an alarm against all your innocent perceptions. There is much more happening to children around us than newspapers tell us. Most importantly, it warns us that child abuse is not confined to class, caste, religion, family background or gender.
So, be safe. First of all, learn to be safe! That’s what this book intends to do.
A must have book for all parents. I am not recommending the book just because I reviewed it. It’s a request to all parents. Don’t think even once. Just order it!
Note: A part of the profit from the sales of this book would be donated to the Arya Orphanage in New Delhi towards the education of the girl children there.
The Silent Scream has several components, I would say, all possible components that will help readers not only to gain awareness about child sex abuse but also suggestions and warnings to keep children safe from insensible monsters.
Part I – The Story of Harshita
This is a 48-page fiction, based on a real-life story, about what happens to a six year old little girl, Harshita. As you can assume by now, Harshita gets sexually abused. However, the circumstances under which the incident occurs will come like a shocking blow to readers.
Harshita’s story seemed a perfect beginning to begin the discussion in the book. It brings readers to the right focus that is required to grasp the message in the rest of the book. Well-narrated and the author’s brilliant ease of flow of words can be vividly experienced.
Part II – Real Life Cases
Following the fiction, ten real life cases of child abuse are narrated briefly, one page each. The cases cover different child abuse situations including upper and lower strata families, male and female victims, accidental and incidental occurrences and also a few of parents’ role and involvement.
The real life cases prove an efficient source of information, for readers get to learn the different situations and tactics underlying child abuses.
Part III – Awareness (though the author titled this part as ‘rape’, I would define this section as awareness)
This part makes the core of the book. The author has discussed many helpful topics that can serve as an immense wealth of information to readers. Here’s a list of a few:
Types of sexual offences
The types of rape and acts that come under sexual offences and sexual exploitation are mentioned. If you’ve not heard before, you will be surprised with the term ‘Marital Rape’, the one which happens without the consent of the spouse.
A detailed insight about Abusers and how to identify Potential Abusers
The author has made a sincere effort to detail the facts gathered about the nature, intentions and socio-psychology of child abusers. Also, signs of danger and common traits of such sex offenders are shared for the benefit of the readers. Here are a few randomly picked lines from this part of the book:
Most of these offenders are people who are close to or related to the victims. This is one of the major reasons that the offenders are able to gain the child’s trust and then misuse it. (Page 80)
Some of these offenders can surprise you with their high intelligence. They can be well-educated, suave and have flourishing careers. They are generally very manipulative and are able to easily convince others. (Page 82)
They would generally shower their (potential) victim with a lot of special attention and praise. (Page 82)
An Alarm to Parents
Some children lead a normal life and do not show any symptoms of being sexually harassed at all…….. It is not that the parents of these children were irresponsible but some of their protectors transformed into predators.
Reasons behind child abuse from an abuser’s perspective are discussed. It is interesting to note that it’s not always related to a bad past or themselves being maltreated at a young age. It could also be associated with their present intimate relationships.
This is a touching discussion on the after-trauma effects of child abuse. The author concludes saying, ‘Love is the real antidote to all your wounds, time isn’t!’
The Indian Law
The current laws in India against child abuse are discussed briefly. With regret, the fragility of such laws is addressed. My heart went out to so many of such women pleading for justice. This is one of the author’s strongly-voiced areas in the book. Phew! So much needs to be changed!
Instructions to Parents
I encourage readers to make a special note of these 15 pages of instructions in their journal. It explains all the possible help that parents can do to protect their children from abusers. If I have to quote lines from this part, I would want to quote all of the 15 pages. For the benefit of parents, I request the author to permit pages 117 to 131 to be circulated publicly for free. It’s the need-of-the-hour!
A few are:
- Teach them right touch and wrong touch
- Teach them to question
- Keep their secrets; they won’t share anything with you if you break their trust
- Do not threaten them
- Appreciate their honesty
A note to child abuse survivors
If you or any of your known people are child abuse survivors, you shouldn't miss this encouraging and helpful note.
At the end, there are details about NGOs that work towards the protection of rights of the children.
With all my heart, I hope and pray that all children in the world lead a healthy childhood. Please take time to share this review and the book through social media.
To conclude, here's a responsible message from the author:
If at anytime of your life, you get the urge to abuse a child for some reason, please consult a psychiatrist immediately and prevent yourself from harming the child.
My personal appreciations and thanks to Siddhartha; I need not tell you why nor is my thanks huge enough for your efforts.
Reviewed for the Author
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the Author in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Title: The Silent Scream
Author: Siddhartha Garg
Publisher: Rumour Books India
About the Book
Child abuse, one of the many problems that persist in India today, is arguably one of the filthiest ones. Of late, we have heard a lot of instances of children being exploited but the most gruesome abuse occurring in and around the nation is child sex abuse. The term may sound too demeaning and give you goose bumps but it is in fact a very sensitive issue which needs to be addressed on a broader platform.
This book tries to take up a similar sensitive issue which people normally turn a blind eye to even though it persists nationwide.It is a sincere effort to throw some light on the highly sensitive and serious problem that continually affects the life of many in the society but most of the cases die a silent death with the individual. Forget justice, the plight of the individual is more often than not kept in the dark for the sake of preserving their honour and position in the society.
The book encapsulates Harshita’s story primarily, but also narrates the story of ten other child abuse victims, to make the reader aware of the many ways a child can be abused. It later on tries to throw some light on awakening the senses of people against these criminals and empowering women in India so as to help and make the nation a better place to live in. An earnest effort is also made to help develop awareness by providing a few crucial points that should be taken care of by all concerned to avoid falling into such terrible situations.
In short, this book can become a ready guide to create awareness about this rampantly growing evil and sensitise everyone regarding the ways child sex abusers operate. A humble effort is also made to counsel the victims and provide insights to them on how they can make their life better and also carry their war against this menace so that other innocent souls are saved.
About the Author
Siddhartha Garg is a techie by profession, a woman and child rights activist by passion and an active blogger. Coming from a middle class family based on the outskirts of Meerut, Siddhartha has always been fond of writing and expressing his thoughts. He started penning verses at a very young age. He published his first book, In Love With Your Friendship, a story of love and friendship and its complications. He, however, claims that this would be the only fictional writing coming through his pen. Siddhartha intends to focus on issue-based writing to sensitise the nation on the various problems that plague our society. He believes his writing would be a very potent weapon in his fight against social ills. In this book, he talks about child sexual abuse, one of the filthiest crimes that persist within our society. The Silent Scream targets teenagers, the youth, parents and all the child abuse survivors and acts like a handbook/guidebook to them providing solutions and measures to deal with the hideous crime along with some preventive measures. His next book, Maya, is a true story that narrates the trials and tribulations of a rape survivor. Siddhartha works in NOIDA and lives with his friends.