August 19, 2015
The increase in the number of cases of sexual abuse of children is on the rise, with two instances reported on Monday, in Coimbatore district. This trend has caused considerable worry among activists working with sexually abused children and teenagers.
“It is a great cause of concern among activists,” said Latha Sundaram of Aram, an NGO. In one of the two instances in the district, a 69-year-old man was arrested for sexually abusing his seven-year-old grandchild in Podanur. In another case, a 20-year-old youth was held for sexually assaulting his relative’s 10-year-old son in Pollachi. Both have been remanded in judicial custody.
Speaking to Covai Post, Counsellor, Durai Sundaram, 52, revealed that someone known to them typically over a period of time, sexually abuse the children. “The perpetrators groom the victims for a long period of time, say a year, and make sure they don’t tell the truth. Many a time, the issue is never identified as sexual abuse. As much as 90 per cent of the time, the abuse is done by some relative of the children or friends of the family,” he said.
The number of children affected is equal for boys and girls until they come of age around 12 or 13 years.
“After this, boys gain strength to resist and girls become easy targets as they become mature,” he said.
Almost 42 per cent of the population in India is under 18 years of age. According to statistics by the
National Crime Records Bureau, the evil of sexual abuse is on the rise among children.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 under which one of the perpetrators was held, was formulated in order to effectively address the heinous crimes of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
This brings the crime on a par with the laws regarding rape and child pornography.