In a nation wide survey on child abuse across 13 states of India report released in 2007 by Ministry of Women and child development Government of India in which 12447 children participated, more than half, 53.22% subjected to one or more forms of sexual abuse. The age wise distribution showed abuse started at 5,gained momentum 10 years onwards, peaking at 12 to 15 years. In 9 out of 13 states reported higher percentage of sexual abuse in boys as compared to girls, Delhi reporting a figure of 65.64% boys. Children at work faced the highest at 61.61%.Out of the total children interviewed 20.90% were subjected to Severe form including sexual assault. Preadolescent to Adolescent children seemed to be more at risk of suffering Severe form. It was also distributing to note that age 6 to 10 years also face severe form of sexual abuse.
Assam, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar reported maximum sexual abuse. There is no legislation on child physical abuse but its moral duty of all adults to report the abuse and stop further harm to the child.
Child sexual abuse is a Universal problem with grave life long outcomes. Is a complex life experience, not a diagnosis or a disorder. An array of sexual activities is covered by the term CSA.
After the enactment of the new law “Protection of child against sexual offences (POCSO) Act 2012” the concept and management of child sexual abuse (CSA) in India has changed a lot safeguarding best interest of the child in every respect at each step including rehabilitation, compensation and all legal procedure.
This law applies to all persons up to 18 years of age, is gender neutral, gives set of guidelines for all the stakeholders to perform their role as even the maintaining silence to allow sexual abuse to happen to the child is a crime and punishable offence under the law of the land, law of the land does not allow consensual sex to any person under 18 years of age, there is provision of mandatory reporting to the police under the Act.
The first step towards prevention is awareness and save the child from further abuse. Hence, stringent measures should be taken for the prevention and control of this hidden public health issue.
The abuser can be of any age, gender and socio – economic class, at times can be a family member. Sexual abuse may not be necessarily penetration, force, pain, or even touching. Most sexual abusers know the child they abuse.
World wide reports have indicated boys are equally abused as girls and have suggested that protective shield should be provided not only to the girls but also to the boys right since they are born. Children can be sexually abused even by their lawful guardians.