Poor parenting makes kids afraid of reporting sexual abuse, study finds

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MUMBAI: If you use bribes or threats to make your children behave, here’s a study that will make you think twice. A survey conducted in Mumbai and Bengaluru over 10 months by Early Childhood Association (ECA), a pan-India think tank, found that 76% of parents in Mumbai often use threats to keep their children in line, and 67% use bribes ‘all the time’ to do so.
ECA, which surveyed about 3,000 parents in each city, warned that such parenting techniques can make children vulnerable to paedophiles, who often use bribes and threats to coerce children and make sure they don’t report abuse.
ECA chose Mumbai and Bengaluru 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. “We observed that incidents of child sex abuse in Mumbai and Bengaluru had a common thread. In all the cases, the perpetrator was someone the child knew and the abuse continued for a period of time as the child did not report it,” said Swati Popat Vats, president of ECA. The study found 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.
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