“Even as we recover from this ghastly incident and attempt to limp back to normalcy, our biggest concern is what if this is happening in other places?” the statement asked.

Be vigilant Chennai apartment where 11-yr-old was sexually abused tells cityImage for representation.
news Child Abuse Friday, July 20, 2018 - 12:19

Following the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl in a gated community in Chennai over a period of seven months, the apartment complex where the incident happened has now released a statement, announcing that they have formed a volunteer task force with residents, who will oversee the security of the buildings.

“The worst has happened. A situation never even dreamed of has arisen in one of the happiest residential gated communities in Chennai. Even as we recover from this ghastly incident and attempt to limp back to normalcy, our biggest concern is what if this is happening in other places? How can our sorrow be a lesson for other residential dwellings?” a statement released by the apartment complex said.

“The residents of Sxxxxx [name redacted to protect survivor’s identity] Apartments would like to share some of their thoughts with the rest of the country: - Today the Ladies of Sxxxxx and other resident volunteers have formed a task force and are manning the security & maintenance services in the building themselves. Even after new agencies are appointed this will continue in a scaled down manner,” the statement read.

Residents also vowed to conduct awareness programmes on topics such as touch-bad touch, abuse of different types, and other sensitive issues.

The statement comes days after the police arrested 17 men who worked at the apartment complex – including a lift man and several security guards. Some of them are accused of sexually assaulting the hearing impaired girl, and others accused of conspiring to hide the incidents.

After the incident came to light, several questions have been asked about what parents, neighbours and communities can – and should – do to keep children safe. Experts say that parents should be more vigilant about their children’s activities – especially any behavioural changes.

Read: Chennai child sexual abuse: Can parents and community do more to tackle such crimes?

The full statement from Sxxxxx Apartments:

The worst has happened. A situation never even dreamed of has arisen in one of the happiest residential gated communities in Chennai. Even as we recover from this ghastly incident and attempt to limp back to normalcy, our biggest concern is what if this is happening in other places? How can our sorrow be a lesson for other residential dwellings?

The residents of Sxxxxx Apartments would like to share some of their thoughts with the rest of the country:

- Today the Ladies of Sxxxxx and other resident volunteers have formed a task force and are manning the security & maintenance services in the building themselves. Even after new agencies are appointed this will continue in a scaled down manner. Our security matter most to us – we must not blindly “outsource” everything we want.

- Collective Responsibility: Living in an apartment is like being a part of a large family. Watch out for each other and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you see anything suspicious.

- Be vigilant. Assume that CCTVs and ID cards can always be circumvented by criminals with intent. But still invest in the best and supplement it with resident vigilance. Request guests to comply with all rules.

- Parents and Grandparents must be made aware of the risks of trusting vendors and service providers with their children. Sadly times have changed and we must too.

- Stranger Danger: Awareness campaigns to be conducted regularly on a variety of topics including good touch-bad touch, abuse of different types, and other sensitive issues.

- Respect & Listen to the Police: They see the worst criminals are the best equipped to help us stay safe. Sxxxxx was always safe.

And with all the efforts and sacrifices of the residents and the kinds wishes and support form NGOs and the Local MLAs and administrative authorities it will bounce back.

But it’s time for all of Chennai to be aware that the game has changed and everyone needs to react swiftly to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again in namma Chennai! God Bless us all.

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