Child abuse is one word that is very common now a days. Recently a tailor from Delhi had made a confession that he had sexually abused over 500 children in 12 years. It is high time that we must create awareness about this among the common man about how to prevent these sexual crimes.
Sexual abuse towards a child is called “Paedophilia”, which is a psychic disorder when a person is attracted towards a child. A person who is diagnosed with pedophilia must be at least 16 years old, but adolescents must be at least five years older than the prepubescent child for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia. The individual’s with Paedophilia must have intense and recurrent sexual urges and fantacies about pre-pubertal children.
Shockingly, the last decade has seen an increase of more than 500% in crimes against children. Even with the implementation of The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012, only a minuscule percentage of such cases get reported. The conviction rates in our country are extremely poor with just 1,072 cases convicted and 1,418 acquittals in 2015.
Recognizing that child sexual abuse needs urgent attention, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had launched the POCSO e-box to enable children to approach it by simply registering their email IDs and contact numbers, along with the nature of their complaint last year. The e-box has received 157 complaints so far.
What we also must consider is the fact that 95% of rapes against children in India, are committed by people known to them, therefore it becomes essential to strengthen the system within, ensuring that children remain safe in all spaces they access. An equal emphasis is required both at the prevention level as well as in the area of quicker prosecution and closure of cases.
A district-wise map depicting problems facing children across the country was released by the ministry of women and child development as a part of the National Plan of Action for Children on 24th January 2017. Prepared by NGO Childline India Foundation, the ‘Child Vulnerability Map’ covers 409 of total 678 districts in the country. It highlights vulnerabilities like child marriage, child trafficking, missing and runway children, child labour, children affected by civil unrest, child sexual abuse, dropouts and low literacy rate, malnutrition, foeticide, HIV and AIDS affected children.
Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra have been highlighted on the map as child trafficking-prone states, while are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as worst-affected by malnutrition. Northeastern states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram, have fared poorly in tackling child malnutrition.
Aside from the physical damage that sexual abuse can cause, the emotional component is powerful and far-reaching. Sexually abused children are tormented by shame and guilt. They may feel that they are responsible for the abuse or somehow brought it upon themselves. This can lead to self-loathing and sexual problems as they grow older — often either excessive promiscuity or an inability to have intimate relations.
The shame of sexual abuse makes it very difficult for children to come forward. They may worry that others won’t believe them, will be angry with them, or that it will split their family apart. Because of these difficulties, false accusations of sexual abuse are not common, so if a child confides in you, take him or her seriously. Don’t turn a blind eye!
Report to the district police chief first if you found the child abuse case. You should also report to the local police station but if they are not receptive, go to the district/city police chief. You can also report to Childline or other NGOs, which focus on children’s safety.
Web Sites to report child abuse cases
Helpline numbers to report child abuse — Childline India Foundation
Tel: 022–2495 2610, 2495 2611, 2482 1098/ 2490 1098/ 2491 1098
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