Sexual offences rarely reported

'Both boys and girls are equally prone to molestation'

Both boys and girls are almost equally prone to sexual offences as children, said Anuroopa Giliyal, Center for the Child and Law, National Law School, Bangalore, here on Tuesday.

Though instances of child molestation and sexual abuse are on the rise, number of cases being reported are very low, he said.

She was speaking at an awareness programme on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012 organised as part of Rural Literacy and Health Programme in the city.

Briefing on POCSO, she said that the law had several features that were designed to protect the identity of the child, while being stringent against offenders. “Sexual offences against children, majority of them, are by individuals known to the child, that hinders children from complaining against the atrocities committed against them,” she said.

She said that POCSO Act ensured that hearing on such cases should be completed within year.

According to the Act, any person with whom the chil is comfortable with, such as parents, members of organisations or the child himself could lodge a complaint. It is not necessary to bring the child to the police station for the complaint, she said.

Responsibility

Stressing on the media’s responsibility in handling such cases, she said that care should be taken not to include details in the report, which might reveal the identity of the child.

During the hearing, in order to save the child from indiscriminate questions by the defense, the Judge has been empowered to ask questions, so as the children could be more forthcoming about their ordeal, she said. Jeery Pais, social worker, said that atrocities against children and women were on a rise, and effective regulations should be formulated to deter people from committing such acts.

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