Sex abuse in schools by minors on rise

Sex abuse in schools by minors on rise

Picture for representation only

Sexual assaults are on the rise. So is the number of students traumatised by their own classmates and seniors in top city schools.

According to statistics obtained by the Woman and Child Development Department, out of the 47 juveniles lodged at the Rehabilitation Centre in Madiwala, 26 are accused of sexual assault, rape and POCSO cases.

Public prosecutor Srinivasa Raju, who deals with juvenile cases, says that while earlier, many juveniles were detained for pick-pocketing, robbery and assault, now almost 80% are being held for sexual assault, rape and POCSO cases. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately, he says.

A sitting judge also expressed concern that if juveniles are not handled effectively in the early stages, there are high chances of them turning into psychopaths and rapists.

Medical expert says...

Dr Vyjayanthi, a psychiatrist at MS Ramaiah Hospital, says, “Nowadays, children have access to smartphones with internet connection. They also have computers at homes and schools. Pornography is the first thing they search for on the net. This is the age they want to experiment everything they come across on internet and television. Since they are not mature enough to handle all this, parents must set up child lock on computers.”

Vyjayanthi says that abusers, who are also minors, look for easy targets and continue exploiting them when they are sure that the victims won’t speak up.

Before anything, schoolchildren should be taught what is consent and that they cannot try out certain things before they attain the legal age of 18 years.

Vyjayanthi feels that schools should put up grievance boxes where students can drop their complaints.

Also, if the class strength is more, there should be at least 10 monitors, instead of one, so that the victims can open up to any of them.

Parents should also watch out for unusual behaviour in their children, Dr Vyjayanthi says.

Private psychiatrist Rohini Nayak is of the view that parents should stop giving smartphones to children. Instead, they should opt for basic models.

Also, minors should not be allowed in cyber centres, she suggests.

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