Child abuse whether it be physical, mental or sexual, is not a new topic to us and has been discussed over ages but no specific solution has been found. Even if a solution is found there is a problem in its implementation. This issue will result in grave consequences if not solved in the upcoming years as the nation is always dependent on the youth for its development. Recently a 19-year-old man just killed himself by hanging in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai. A 16-year-old girl who was abducted and raped was the subject of the concerned youth’s arrest. The age of consent controversy came to light as a result of this incident. At a recent national event on the implementation of the POCSO Act, 2012, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud urged the legislature to take into account the growing concern surrounding the Act’s “age of consent.” Child sexual abuse is an unpleasant reality that is progressively being documented worldwide, including in India. Pediatricians and other medical specialists are frequently the first to get in touch with families of abused children. They play a crucial part in the detection of child sexual abuse by giving victims and their families both immediate and ongoing care and assistance. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was implemented by India in 2012. It is a comprehensive law against sexual abuse that broadens the definition of sexual offences, makes reporting abuse mandatory, and establishes standards for victim evaluation.
The sexual harassment issue can have harmful impacts on children. It can be physical health symptoms, including general health, gastrointestinal, pain and cardiopulmonary symptoms. psychological impact can include unusual or unexplained fear of people or places, nightmares. It can also lead to depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The most profound impact can include suicide.
An 18-year-old rape victim who was home alone when she committed suicide by hanging herself in Kerala’s Malappuram district. The victim’s mother has accused the police of failing to help and advise the girl even after she told them about a couple prior suicide attempts the girl had made. The child and her mother and brother used to reside in a rental home. She was a survivor in numerous POCSO situations. Six males, including family members, sexually assaulted her two years ago. The mother had also alleged that her daughter was under pressure from police to change her statement, as the cops were trying to protect the culprits. Not just police, even the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) also failed to take any action after the sexual abuse of the minor girl was reported. Women’s rights activist Usha Punathi said that the CWC is responsible to keep the Pocso survivors in a safe place, which was not done in this case.
In 2019 A 20-year-old youngster accused in a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) case attempted suicide by consuming pesticide.
The Ruchika Girhotra case involves the molestation of 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra in 1990 by the Inspector General of Police Shambu (S.P.S. Rathore) in Haryana, India. The victim eventually committed suicide as a result of the police’s persistent harassment of her family, and her acquaintances after she filed a complaint. After 19 years, 40 adjournments, and more than 400 hearings, the court ultimately found Rathore guilty on December 22, 2009.
The primary goal of the POCSO Act is to protect children from sexual assault, abuse, and other types of sexual offences. Since the majority of rural Indians are still ignorant that there is an Act that primarily attempts to prevent sexual violence against children, sexual offences against children frequently result in child marriage, exile of the family from society, or total silence about such horrible crimes. Indian society is plagued with child sexual abuse, which is why the Act was introduced in 2012. However, without the committed and coordinated efforts of the investigative and implementing agencies, no law can be implemented successfully and efficiently. In this regard, a multilateral approach is necessary, and it is the responsibility of the state governments, police forces, judicial systems, and medical communities to swiftly implement the act and address these instances with compassion and empathy. The idea of special courts will be thwarted if the judges, their staff, the prosecution, police, and defence do not cooperate with one another in order to conduct trials quickly. Further, when assessing a child who has been the victim of sexual abuse, doctors need to be trained to comprehend the complexities and assist in the right scientific collecting of numerous evidences. The number of reported incidents has increased in recent years, and this is attributable to the increased awareness that various NGOs have been able to foster through their work and various awareness-raising campaigns. It is crucial to intensify both the investigation and the trial in order to increase the conviction rate and deliver justice quickly and effectively.