Child abuse – Helpless, we pray!
Child abuse – Helpless, we pray!
A 5-year old girl sexually abused by a school driver in Delhi; an 11-year old girl raped in Gurgaon; 6-year old girl raped by school’s gym instructors in Bangalore, 5-year old girl raped, murdered in Ahmedabad…
These are just a few of the glaring news headlines of the last two months. Every day or the other, we get to read such heinous crimes against children that are shocking. A child is constantly being abused by his/her parents, neighbours, relatives, someone known or someone unknown. Child rape has become a serious crime in India and it has grown rampant in recent years.
Whenever a news report of such incidents gets published, the public awakes, gets into protest march, dharnas; the NGOs, women activists, ruling party, the opposition parties, the police become very active in their duties and within a day or two the rapist or the attacker gets arrested. Then what? Either he is in jail or bailed out. There is silence now; no action from the public, no news from the NGOs, women activists, the police and others. We as citizens cannot do anything, as everything will proceed as per the laws. The person is arrested and the law takes its own course.
Then again we get to hear about another child rape. Again the same old process. This is just a vicious circle that is going on and on and there is no change in the system. Children’s sexual abuse is a sensitive issue in the country.
Forms of Child Sexual Abuse in India
- Rape or forceful sex
- Fondling and touching a child’s genitals
- Forcing the child to touch the genitals of the attacker
- Stripping a child
- Showing the child porn photos and videos
- Making the child perform for porn videos
- Making the child pose for porn pictures
- Sharing of dirty jokes with the child
- The attacker forcefully showing his genitals to the child
The Psychology of a Man Who Rapes a Minor
- The investigation of the recent 6-year old Bangalore rape revealed that the entire sexual abuse of the child was recorded and stored in the suspect’s laptop.
- In another incident of rape of a minor, doctors examining the victim were shocked to find small glass bottle and candle bits in her vagina.
- A minor was raped and then hanged from a tree.
- A minor raped, killed and body parts mutilated.
Children are the most precious gifts of God. Children have tremendous sense of innocence, simplicity, warm appeal, they are pure and untainted, they bring joy into life. Then how can a rapist be so cruel and ruthless to a lovely creature? What does the rapist think when he does a heinous crime of raping and sexually abusing a minor?
The sexual violence and brutality that are inflicted on the child rape victim makes you shiver in fear. There is a dangerous behaviour on the part of the attacker. While the victim needs family support, it is also necessary to know the psychology of these rapists. Simply by sending the offender to the jail is not the solution. Experts say that if an attacker abuses or sexually assaults a child, there is no guarantee that he won’t do the same thing with another child. Psychologists suggest that it is also necessary to provide treatment for the offenders besides giving them rigorous punishments.
Child Rape Cases on the Rise in India
During the period, 2001 to 2011, there was an increase of 336% in child sexual harassment cases in India, according to a study by the Asian Centre for Human Rights.
In 2013, the completed trials on sexual abuse against children were only 15% of the reported cases. In the same year, the conviction rate for child rape and sexual offense was very low, only 31.5%. More than 85% cases are still pending in the courts. So under these circumstances, the attacker is not punished. He is bailed out or he comes out of the jail after paying a compensation. So for us, it is now another news of child rape. We read, we feel bad and then again we forget about it. It’s the victim and the victim’s family that suffer.
Moreover, in many cases, the victim’s parents withdraw the case as it becomes a problem to bring their victimized and scared children to courts and maintain their anonymity. In such cases, the offenders go scot-free and they get involved in another crime.
India’s Rape and Other Laws
According to experts and child counsellors, including the lawyers, another main reason for increase in child abuses and rapes is that our country does not have any stringent law against such crimes. There is no law that punishes the offender immediately. The court proceedings take time. The government enacts special laws but then it is unsuccessful in implementing it. The judiciary fails to allocate required resources. For example, we have “The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012” but of no use. Sadly, most district courts in India have no dedicated sessions court for POCSO. In fact, sex crimes on children have escalated even after the enactment of this law.
What Is Our Role as Parents?
We simply can demand change in law and order of the country. We can simply demand a strict punishment on the attacker so that he does not dare to do it again. We can simply demand that the court proceedings do not prolong for a long time.
But as usual, everything takes time in India. In the meantime, all we can do is to guide our children to protect themselves. One basic step is to make the child aware of what child sexual abuse is, as the offender could even be a person whom the child knows and trusts. The child should be aware of what is a good touch and what is a bad touch.
Child protection is a responsibility of all parents. We cannot stop the crime; at least let us take steps to prevent it. Last but not the least, we pray that our children stay happy and safe.
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