Parents need to be counselled to handle child abuse: panel

March 28th, 2009 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) Alarmed at the sudden spurt in cases of fathers sexually abusing their daughters, the child rights commission said that parents need to be counselled to handle such cases and recognise the fact that more than half the country’s children are sexually abused.
Just days after the shocking revelation of a Mumbai girl being allegedly raped by her businessman father over nine years, two other cases from Amritsar and Nagpur surfaced, recounting similar sordid tales.

Sandhya Bajaj, member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), said these cases are just an indicator of the shocking trend revealed in the study on child abuse conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and some NGOs.

“Children being abused in the hands of parents and family members is shocking and is a very serious issue. Not only do children need to be counselled, but also parents who are always in a denial mode that such things cannot happen to their kids. Thus, even if such an incident happens, the child is forced to keep mum about it,” Bajaj told IANS.

According to the 2007 Child Abuse Report, 53 percent children in India are sexually abused. And in most cases, the accused is a person known to the child.

“Mostly parents try and hush up such matters, thinking that their family’s name will be tarnished. They have to be made to understand that by doing this, they too become perpetrators of crime to their children,” Bajaj said.

“In the parents-teachers meetings in schools and within families, people should attempt at making children aware of such crimes as subtly as possible so that they are on their guard and can raise their voice if wronged,” she suggested.

Amod Kanth, chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said more awareness programmes need to be worked upon so that children and their families don’t keep quiet if such crimes are committed.

“I have been coming across an increasing number of such cases, which is just alarming. It’s not just another crime. We are talking about young children here and such things deeply impact their psyche,” Kanth said.

Bajaj said after taking suo motu cognizance of the Mumbai rape victim’s matter, the NCPCR has issued a notice to the Maharashtra government to take immediate action.

“What is even more surprising is that the mother of the Mumbai girl also kept quiet about the whole episode. We are doing all that we can in promising protection to such harassed and helpless young girls who have no one to look up to,” she added.

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