Child sex abuse is a widespread phenomenon which transcends all boundaries across all economic classes, a report on an initiative of civil society members said on Tuesday.
"Child sex abuse is not an ordinary crime, it's a very complex crime where relationships are put through a test. About 90 per cent of all such crimes are committed by persons known to the victims," Stuti Kacker, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, under the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), said during the launch of the report.
The report was a result of research work contributed by several stakeholders from the civil society, who had met under the initiative 'National Consultation on the Protection of Children', of Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
The recommendations would be sent to the Prime Minister's Office and WCD Ministry to aid amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012.
The panellists talked about the need for the victims to break the silence and seek redressal at the earliest possible.
"Most of the times, that the child is pregnant (due to rape) is not known until the late stage of pregnancy... Where she is bound to deliver the baby, it can be a very traumatic experience," said Flavia Agnes, founder of Majlis, a legal help forum for women.
She said that there are plenty of laws in India but their application is not up to the mark and there is no accountability on part of the lawgivers and law enforcers.
Chandrasekhar urged the government to combat the issue on a priority basis and on the level of a "national mission".
He urged the WCD Ministry to act as a primary agency to effect the changes and lead other stakeholders.
Anuja Gupta, founder of 'Rahi', a pioneer in fighting for victims of sex abuse, said "the incest is a reality and we need not shy away from the word, since it is prevalent phenomenon".
"The idea that perpetrators of such crimes are mentally aberrant or are an anomalous case is flawed. They are just like us. We need to be more aware to see signs of repressions in the child," Gupta said.
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