Mahira Khan has made an appeal to teachers and parents to give children proper education to protect themselves from sexual abuse.
The actor took part in a press conference today at Karachi Press Club along with Shehzad Roy, Zeba Bakhtiar and Younis Khan to talk on the tragic case of Farishta, a ten-year-old girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered.
“This is a tragic event, but such terrible incidents are happening all over our country. Children are suffering such incidents and we need to do what we can to prevent this,” said Mahira, going on to talk about the importance of educating children against inappropriate touch.
“We aren’t taught as children what is an inappropriate touch. Parents and teachers should teach their children about these things. Awareness of good touch and bad touch should begin at home and awareness to prevent abuse should be taught at home and school.”
Khan emphasised the importance of having a conversation about these matters with children, as it will make them not only aware but will also allow them to speak up should they be uncomfortable in a setting.
“Please, when these things are not talked about in your homes, don’t hush your children up… because you can’t even think what those children must be experiencing at the time,” said the actor.
She added, “This is something to give importance to. Whether it’s the police, the child protection unit or counselors, they should be involved in helping children be aware… We need child psychologists and therapists in our child protection units to help them.”
“This is the outcry we had a year ago when Zainab’s murder happened and now this incident has shaken us yet again,” said Shehzad Roy.
“Why are children not being properly taught how to protect themselves after everything that has happened? Why isn’t our child protection unit working on making this happen?”
He added, “We need to understand that when such incidents happen, they start slowly. It starts with an inappropriate touch that a child doesn’t understand and is quiet about and it grows to the point that a life is lost. We don’t want it to get to that point, it can be stopped in the first go if a child knows what bad touch is.”
According to Zeba Bakhtiar, “We all need to work together to make this change in our society happen. Education for children regarding all this is very important. Social media plays an important part in all this.”