When Fear Drives Parenting

Sunjula Daniel, a Woman Of Worth staff member shares her perspective in this very relatable point of view of a mother.

​I​ first saw 5-year old Sushmitha looking through our compound gate. She didn’t say a word – just kept looking. I began to feel uncomfortable and guilty as I avoided her for a good twenty minutes and then I gave in and we invited her home. She was thrilled and rushed in without telling her parents who it appears were migrant construction labourers working nearby. The girl was smart, well-behaved and highly observant. I enjoyed her broken Tamil and her drama to illustrate how her mother and her brother would do things. She was so cute! She would come home everyday. When she wasn’t at our place, I would see her just roaming the street, chatting with much older men and women, whiling away time.

It is sad that we live in an era that feels like our kids are walking in the wild with predators lurking in the shadows.

She had both parents and a little brother. She also had food, shelter and enough clothes. But did she have safety? Each time I saw her, I kept asking myself “Is she safe? Will she be ok on these streets? What if something untoward happens? What if she is abused? Will she know? Will she ask for help? And if she does, will she be helped? Or will she be shushed?”

Sushmitha and her family have now left our neighbourhood. I often think of her and wonder if she is safe. It’s sad that I worry over her.​ It is sad that we live in an era that feels like our kids are walking in the wild with predators lurking in the shadows.​ ​It is sad that it is possible for a child so cute and lively to be abused!

​Childhood is sweet and tender. Let’s give our children a safe childhood. Let’s keep our eyes open for child sexual abuse. Let’s end it.

#endChildSexualAbuse #EndRape #FearlessProject

About the author
Sunjula Daniel is Operations Manager at WOW and a mother who is passionate about changing the world.