Child rape cases have jumped 336% in the past 10 years
Younger children, aged between 5-12 years, including boys and girls, are facing more abuse, both physical as well as sexual, and there is an urgent need to safeguard these children and also severely punish child abusers and rapists, says Bangalore-based Children's Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP).
CRISP, citing data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), said, every 20 minutes, somewhere in India a woman is raped. While crimes against woman have increased by 1.7% since 2010, over the past 10 years, number of rape cases involving child has jumped 336%, it added.
Talking about the reluctance in addressing child abuse, CRISP said, "No one wants to believe that anyone would do something that terrible to a child, so there’s an unwillingness to recognise just how pervasive child abuse is. In spite of our collective denial, we all may know a family where sexual abuse is taking place or may know a sexual predator. In the majority of cases, children never tell anyone what has happened to them. Why? Because it doesn’t feel safe to tell. Since talking about sex is taboo in Indian society, this problem gets complicated even more."
"There are many types of child sexual abuse, from inappropriate touching, fondling, voyeurism, exposure to pornography, to full forced intercourse and sadistic acts. Victims may be infants as young as two months, although the average age of child sexual abuse victims is nine. It happens in every socio-economic class, every ethnic community, and among all races," it added.
In a statement, CRISP said, "India adopted a policy on Children in 1974 which guarantees children the right to protection from abuse, the right to protection from exploitation, the right to protection from neglect. In spite of this, various governments have failed miserably in safeguarding the interests of children who constitute 40% of Indian population because they are not vote banks!"
CRISP has demanded the government to strictly implement the 'Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act' that was passed in the Parliament in 2012. The non-governmental organisation (NGO) has also demanded.
1. Make sex education compulsory, with a focus to educate on what constitutes abuse, for High school level in all private and government schools in the state.
2. No school management should force parents to sign papers compromising their child's safety in exchange for seats. Make schools fully accountable for child safety during school hours, including the travel to & from the school and management has to ensure due diligence on staff and teachers.
3. Open child helpline to report abuse in all major areas of the city & schools to train children how to use helpline facilities without revealing name or identity of the victim and their family.
4. Set up special courts to complete trial of child abuse cases within 6 months and ensure all cases of child abuse is reported in the police station & CWC.
5. To form a separate union ministry for children & de-link the present women and child development ministry since women rights and child rights are totally different and thus children are not the priority.
6. Initiate social and familial reforms to reinforce joint family system so that grand-parents play a more pro-active role in upbringing and care of children, ensuring love and safety, and reduce dependency on hired maids.
7. Promote shared parenting in children coming from the broken homes so that the children gets guidance from father to have proper guidance & to prevent potential rapist citizens.
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