When a child isn’t safe at home – By Kiran Manral

What would call a father who rapes his own daughter? A monster? A pervert? A despicable human being? If news reports are anything to go by, the cases of such CSA committed by a parent are on the rise. Including this snippet that was flashed this morning:

For the children who have grown up being sexually assaulted by their parent and guardian, the trauma is something that will last a lifetime. For the past three years, a group of bloggers and social media enthusiasts, including me, have been running a volunteer driven online awareness initiative called the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month through the month of April.  Through the month, we have survivors of CSA send in their accounts, often anonymous, we have legal experts, counselors, therapists who work with abused children and survivors, and CSA survivors talk about the various aspects of CSA on our blog, on Facebook, on twitter. And while the statistics surrounding CSA are frightening enough, what is even more frightening is the fact that no longer are children safe even with their own parents, grandparents, uncles, cousins or siblings. It rids us of the misconception that a child is safe at home, that in fact, if anything, a child is most vulnerable to being abused at home.

CSA in the home, committed by a parent or an immediate relative is a real and tangible scourge in our country. A report by the Ministry of Women and Child Development entitled ‘Study on Child Abuse India 2007’ revealed that more than 53% of children in India have probably been sexually abused and many have never disclosed the abuse. While sexual abuse happens in a majority of the cases with the father abusing a daughter, there are documented cases of mothers sexually abusing their daughters as well as sons, including infants. While most child sexual abuse is committed by men; women reportedly commit approximately 14 percent of offenses reported against boys and 6 percent of offenses reported against girls. Incest is prevalent across SECs, geographies, and across the rural urban divide. Boys are victims of CSA as are girls, CSA against boys is not reported, or spoken about. Boys are also supervised more laxly than girls are, leading to a greater possibility of them being abused.

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