Innocence Faded

little-girl2-worried-bw-iid-cropped.png“Child Sexual Abuse”, it sounds so crude and the mere thought of it can scare you out of your wits. It is such a heinous act where the child is sexually molested either by his guardians or by the person under whose supervision the child is left with.

Child sexual abuse is a physical violation of a child’s body through any sort of sexual contact or a psychological violation of a child’s personal space through verbal or visual sexual behavior.

This kind of abuse is in rampage and is straining out all the innocence from the child before he is ready to meet the harsh realities of the world.

In a recent survey conducted in a school in Chennai, 50% of the students who took part in this survey reported that they have been victims of sexual abuse after they were explained the kinds of sexual abuse one can undergo without his or her knowledge. Another survey conducted in a college in Bangalore revealed that 83% of the students had undergone sexual abuse and ended up being raped.

15th April’ 07 , a 16- year- old girl undergoing treatment for cancer in Tata Memorial hospital in Mumbai, alleged that she was raped in the hospital premises but the hospital authorities denied all the allegations.

It was reported that she had been lying prostrate on her bed ever since her treatment for Synovial sarcoma; a muscular cancer, since 4th October’ 06. The victim also reported that she overheard the conversation of two ward boys who made vulgar comments against her. The case of rape got unraveled when a doctor refused to carry out the palliative Radiotherapy at the Wadia hospital citing the victim’s pregnancy. This was also a new revelation for the victim’s family .The victim’s parents alleged that the hospital authorities were trying to hush up the matter. Police reports stated that sufficient evidence had been found to suspect rape and they registered a rape case and further investigation was conducted. But till date, justice has not been brought to the victim and her story has got lost in the stacks of old newspapers.

Recently, National Commission for Children announced some tough measures to protect the children from abuse. It’s Chairperson, Shanta Sinha have announced children should become a part of the national conscience to prevent abuse. She informed that the biggest tool could be the new Child Protection Bill. The draft of the Bill is waiting for approval by the cabinet.

The Ministry for Women and Child Development feels existing laws are inadequate to recognize and penalize the offenders. The legislation will provide authorities with a mechanism to identify and punish offenders for crimes against children. A lot of NGO’s are also working to provide relief to these innocent victims and help them pull through their times of crisis.

Yet, the need of the hour is social awareness and the awakening of humanitarian feelings among the mass to fight and curb this terrible crime and gift these children a bright and healthy life.

Sridatta Gupta