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Friday, February 8, 2013

Child sexual abuse in India is 'common' and faces the silence


Child sexual abuse is "alarmingly common" in India where the victim has to face the law of silence that surrounds these cases to protect the "honor" family , according to a report by the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that Thursday. The complaint is contained in the study 'Breaking the silence: Child sexual abuse in India' , the NGO has launched in New Delhi amid great expectations after the rape and murder of a young woman last December in a case has caused an unprecedented awareness in this country. According to the report, in India 7200 report child sexual abuse cases a year , but experts estimate that a large number of violations are not made ​​public to protect the "honor" of the family or by the ineffectiveness of the police. That sexual violence against children is "alarmingly common" and mainly occurs, according to HRW, in the home, the neighborhood of the victim or the schools, but the "fear" that the family is "stigmatized" carried hide such acts "horrible"The report, presented at a press conference, included the testimony of an Indian activist, Anand Prakash, who told the U.S. organization are aware of the existence of "a lot of abuse, but people do not talk about it""(Silence) is linked with the respect and dignity of the family. Si (rape) comes to light, the family will be vilified" says Prakash in the study.

Government Research

The report refers to one of the Indian government, which in 2007 ruled that only 25% of children who suffer sexual violence reveal and, among these cases, only 3% of the victims or their families have a complaint statement with the police. "(Sexual abuse) suffered in secret and there is a conspiracy of silence that envelops everything related to this issue," was sentenced in 2007 the then Indian Minister of Development of Women and Children, Renuka Chowdhury. Ahmed, father of a 12 year old girl who was raped in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, told HRW that after reporting the incident to the police family suffered "rejection" and "ostracized" from all its neighbors. The parent also said that the police tried not to go ahead with the complaint and by opposing members of the police began to beat, including a senior. The president of the National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, Shanta Sinha said during the presentation of the report thatis necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the law so that the child gets justice. "We must help everyone who comes to break the silence and provide justice (...) and the main challenges are to improve within the police and show the family know the steps to follow when it comes to report abuse "said Sinha.

Without faith in the institutions

HRW recorded the testimony of a girl who was raped at age 12 and that when she went to the police station to report it, the police questioned a virulent and locked so that changed the version of eventsbecause, if he did, he " something would happen." "I was kept in jail for 12 days and would not let me see my parents. When I think about what happened I feel fear" said the child. The South Asia director for Human Rights Watch, Meenakshi Ganguly, said that "the Indian system to combat sexual abuse is inadequate because the government mechanisms do not guarantee the protection of children , "so that people "do not have faith in the institutions". "It is hard enough that a child sexually abused or their relatives denounce the case or ask for help and instead of treating such cases with sensitivity,the Indian authorities often degrade and re-traumatize " he said Ganguly. According to HRW, the Indian Government should take immediate steps to address "the lack of trust in institutions" and to force those who do not treat such cases with diligence and sensitivity "that are held accountable." Since he met the brutal rape of a young girl by six men on a bus in New Delhi two months ago, India has experienced constant demonstrations to pressure the Indian authorities that address sexual violence against women, a measure HRW has asked to be extended to children.

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