According to National Crime Reports, Every 15 minutes, a child is sexually abused in India. 95% of child abuse in 2015 were known by a relative and 4 in 1 such case are never reported. In 2018 around 21,605 cases of child rapes were recorded, out of which 21,401 rapes of girls and 204 rapes of boys. It was recorded that the highest number of child rapes were in Maharashtra at 2,832 cases. The second was UP at 2,023 and then Tamil Nadu at 1,457. In this post
WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE?
Child Abuse or Child Maltreatment is a physical, mental, sexual and psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child (below 18 years) especially by parents or caretaker.
PHYSICAL ABUSE– It is when a child is physically injured or put at harm by another person in order to intentionally hurt them.
SEXUAL ABUSE– It is any sexual activity with the child such as touching their private parts, oral genital contact, intercourse, exploitation or exposure to child pornography.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE- This means injuring a child’s self-esteem or emotional well-being by verbal or emotional assault- such as continuously belittling, berating, isolating or ignoring a child.
MEDICAL ABUSE– Medical abuse occurs when someone gives false information about illness in a child at risk of injury and unnecessary medical care. Sometimes by giving false statement doctors do abuse the children.
NEGLECT– Child neglect is also a type of abuse where the child is not given adequate attention that he deserves. For example, they are not given proper supervision about their basic needs, health, their clothing, housing etc.
CAUSES OF CHILD ABUSE
- One of the major causes of Child Abuse is unemployment.
- Physical or mental illness
- Depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Single parenting
- Family crisis
- Stress and Anxiety
- Child marriage
Generally all this is divided under 2 heads which include the acts of commission and omission.
COMMISSION– This includes Physical, sexual and psychological abuse.
This act prohibits the employment of children in certain hazardous occupations and regulates their employment in some other areas.
OMISSION- This includes physical neglect, emotional neglect, educational neglect, medical and dental neglect, inadequate supervision and exposure to violent environment.
This act says a) No child shall be permitted to work from 7p.m. to 8a.m.
b) No child shall be allowed to work overtime.
Since the lower class has less of literacy so they have contributed more to population and more family members means need of high income which forces the parents to send their children to work. At work, these buds come in contact with greedy lusty ill-mentality people and children become their easy target. It is sometimes the mistakes of parents as well who doesn’t pay much attention to their children as to with whom they are spending time or who is having an eye on their kids.
Some people even sell their kids for money which is called Human Trafficking and which is worse, something whose punishment should be death and only death. Statistics shows 1 in every 9 girls and 1 in every 54 boys under the age of 18 have experienced child abuse or neglect.
In traditional times what used to happen was girls of 12-13 years were got married to an old man in his 30s-40s or even 50s. The mentality of sick people was that there is no age bar for men to get married but girls must get married in their teens. And those mentalities often lead to the abuse of that girl.
IMPACT OF COVID ON CHILD ABUSE
The recent pandemic situation is likely to increase the % of child abuse in India. Because of covid, it has seen that around 31 million people have already lost or on the verge of losing their jobs. And this loss of employment will lead to reduced pay rates and poverty. It is studied that with every 1% increase in population, there is a 0.7% increase in child labor/abuse. With this, the vulnerabilities of middle and poor households will suffer; especially if the earning hand in the house has lost his/her job or has got an infection or died.
GOVERNMENTAL MEASURES AGAINST CHILD ABUSE
Article 24 of the Indian constitution clearly states that “No child below the age of 14 will be employed to work in any factory, mine or any other hazardous work”.
Some other acts include-
- Minimum Wages Act, 1948
- Factories Act, 1948
- Maternity Benefits Act, 1961
- Payment Of Bonus Act, 1965
- The Child Act, 1989
- Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act, 2006
4Ps and 4Rs IN CHILD PROTECTION
|ü Prevention||ü Recognize|
|ü Partnership||ü Respond|
|ü Protection||ü Report|
|ü Parental Responsibility||ü Record|
SOME STRATEGIES TO CONSIDER
- Strengthen economic support to families.
- Change social norms to support parents and positive parenting.
- Provide quality care and education in life.
- Enhance parenting skills to promote healthy child development.
- Intervene to lessen harms and prevent future risks.
TOGETHER, LETS BUILD STRONGER & SAFER FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES TO PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT.