On Wednesday I read the report released by The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, established by Nobel Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, on “Awareness and perceptions about child sexual abuse among young adults in India 2018”. The Foundation pointed out that in three years – 2013 to 2016 – crimes against children have increased by 84 per cent.
Against this backdrop, the Foundation’s survey found that three out of four young, educated adults do not know what child sexual abuse is. Very few of them are aware that eve-teasing (passing comments on women) in India – is a crime.
A total of 987 respondents were surveyed in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses in 10 educational institutions such as Banaras Hindu University, Jamia Millia Islamia, and University of Kerala.
According to the survey, when asked what constitutes sexual abuse as per the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, many failed to answer correctly. The majority of them did not know that even staring is a kind of abuse. Only 37 per cent of male respondents supported educating children on sexual abuse – a typical apprehension being that too much information would expose children to too much detail about sex and sexuality. Among women, that figure was 49 per cent.
Over one-third (35%) of the female respondents said they had experienced sexual abuse when they were below 18 years of age. Among males that figure was 25 per cent.
Lack of sex education in schools is a major reason behind increase in child abuse cases. Children do not know that what kind of behavior with them constitute abuse. In 90% of the cases children are being raped by someone they knew in which the neighbors are the biggest abusers.
Every day, 55 children are being raped in India. More than one lakh cases of sexual crimes against children are pending before the courts.
As per the Protection of Children against sexual offence act (POCSO) state wise cases, Uttar Pradesh led the highest number of child abuse cases 3,078 followed by Madhya Pradesh 1,687, Tamil Nadu 1,544, Karnataka 1,480 and Gujarat 1,416.
According to National Crime Records Bureau data from 2016, due to slow justice a victim in Delhi or Bihar will have to wait till 2029 for justice. In Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, victims in 2016 can hope for justice in 2026; in Maharashtra, a victim has to wait till 2032. In Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh, with the current pace of slow justice delivery, children victimized in 2016 should not think of justice before 2071.
Justice delayed is justice denied and this is what is happening in our judicial system. In 2012 India launched fast- track courts and strict laws and punishment, including death penalty after the horrifying Nirbhaya case. But the crime statics shows that, situation has got worse.
The numbers of cases are increasing day by day and due to slow justice the cases are being piled up in courts, waiting for justice, and the fast- track court seems to be just on paper.
BMC 5th SEM [St. Xavier’s College of Mgmt. & Tech.]