Child sexual abuse. Child molestation. Child trafficking. Child pornography. Child grooming.
Child Sexual Abuse is a major problem. After a survey in India, 53% had suffered some form of sexual abuse. A shocking case for Indians is that maximum boys had suffered severe sexual abuse.
‘The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act’ has listed a lot of abuses under which the accused can be punished. If a child (below 18 years) suffers through:
- Penetrative sexual assault (inserting any object or using any part of the body to cause penetration into any part of the body of the child or making the child do so).
- Sexual assault without penetration (touching penis, vagina, anus, breast of a child with sexual intent or making physical contact with a child with sexual intent or making the child do so).
- Sexual harassment (making any sound or gesture or exhibiting any object or part of body, with sexual intent, so that it will be heard or seen by the child, constantly following or watching child either directly or through digital or any other means with sexual intent or showing any object to child in any form with sexual intent or enticing child for pornographic purposes).
Any person who suspects that such a crime has been committed, it is his duty to report it to the police. The police have a duty to take the child to a hospital if they are in need of care and protection. The case can be told to child welfare committees and they will look into it that whether a child needs to be removed from his or her home in case the offender lives in the same household.
We don’t get to know about so many cases because the children had been threatened to keep their mouth quiet. They are often given treats later by the offender so that they look like a kind person in front of the victim’s family.
Even when the children try to tell about it to their parents, they mishear their kids and avoid such discussion. This happens because talking about Sex is considered a taboo in India. Parents don’t talk about sex and mental health issues with their kids. It is important to understand that if the parents won’t teach their kids these basic things, someone else will do and it might not be in an acceptable manner.
Child sexual abuse can result in psychological effects. Children may go through depression, anxiety, eating disorders, poor self-esteem and sleep disturbances at an early age. Children may exhibit regressive behaviors such as thumb sucking or bedwetting. They may withdraw from school and social activities and happen to become a victim of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Teenage pregnancy and risky sexual behaviors may appear in adolescence. Remeber that, children cannot stop child abuse but adults can.
Go through the Epidemiological Overview of Child Sexual Abuse by clicking here.
Kailash Satyarthi, the award receiver of Nobel Peace Prize, 2014 and many more awards is an Indian children’s rights and education advocate and an activist against child labor.
On 16 June 2015, Satyarthi gave a clarion call to leaders and countries towards global elimination of child labor and slavery. Satyarthi was joined by a large number of child right groups and organizations at the Lincoln Memorial where he called for achieving freedom for the world’s children from slavery, labor, abuse, trafficking and illiteracy.
He launched a new campaign against child sexual abuse in July 2017.
Nobel laureate, Kailash Satyarthi will join forces with the leader of different countries in a year-long campaign against child sexual abuse and trafficking. A series of events will be held as part of the ‘Surakshit Bachpan Surakshit Bharat’ (Safe Childhood-Safe India) campaign across the country from August. Kailash Jee told The Indian Express in the press release that children had always been one of the worst victims of all forms of violence. Sexual abuse is among the gravest and is growing at an alarming rate. It is the moral obligation of all faith leaders to help break this silence.
Salim Engineer of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind was quoted in a release as saying that violence against children “is a very important issue in this country. We will support you, the cause and the campaigns wherever you will go.”
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