The total crimes against children across India stood at 1,29,032, according to the 2017 National Crime Record Bureau report, as against 1,06,958 the previous year (2016).
The total number of cases of child rape which were registered during the year 2017 was 17,557. However, out of these cases of rape of children, in as many as 10,059 cases POCSO Act was not added/invoked. This is indicative of either lack of knowledge about the POCSO Act among the police officers or reluctance on their part, for whatever reasons, to invoke POCSO which is a more stringent act in cases of child rape and is aimed at providing speedier justice to child victims of rape which is an extreme of sexual abuse. This is a serious lacuna in our system which needs to be taken cognizance of by district police head and state police chiefs so that immediate corrective action is taken. Invoking POCSO Act in FIRs of all cases of child rape is a legal requirement and any deviation from that must not be allowed/accepted.
A perusal of the report shows that during the year 2017, only 940 cases were registered under POCSO act in which the victim where male children. The population of male children in our country is 23.2 Crores (Census 2011).
A national study to estimate the incidence of child sexual abuse in the country was undertaken by Ministry of Women and Child Development in the year 2007. According to the same, 48 percent of the male children had faced some kind of sexual abuse at some stage of their child hood. Recently ie, in 2017 a similar national study was carried out by KSCF. The study brought out incidence of child sexual abuse among male children at 25 percent. Even if we take the lower figure of 25 percent as the bench mark for the incidence of CSA among male children ,it is evident that incidents of Child Sexual abuse of the male children are not getting reported or not being registered by the police. We believe that primary cause is non -reporting which is due to the reluctance on the part of the abused male child and his parents.
There is a glaring need to create awareness in the society so that this reluctance to report sexual abuse of male child is got over and cases related to the same are freely reported and also registered.
KSCF firmly believes that it is only when cases are reported, registered, investigated ,charge sheeted and the abusers are convicted that the crime of sexual abuse of male children can be brought under control making our society safer for our children.