Punjab on top in child abuse cases -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Punjab on top in child abuse cases

LAHORE – As many as 2,321 cases of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) were reported countrywide in year 2007 including male and female with Punjab remained at the top of the list as more than half of theses cases took place here.

This was revealed in a statistical report ‘Cruel Numbers in 2007’ issued by a non-governmental organisation ‘Sahil’ here on Tuesday.

As per the analysis, 56 per cent cases were reported in Punjab in 2007. While six per cent cases were reported in the Federal Capital, 3 per cent in NWFP and 32 per cent in Sindh province.

Two per cent cases of Child Sexual Abuse were reported in Balochistan and 1 per cent in AJK, the report said.

The report suggests that the real number could be much higher because such issues are taboo and not easily reported.

The report says that 3.6 children are being abused sexually in a day in Pakistan.

Among 2,321 of total cases 1,612 (69 per cent) are girls and 709 (31 per cent) are boys. Male children are less victimised by the criminals.

However, report shows that CSA cases have slightly decreased as compared to the total number of cases in 2006 when a total of 2,447 cases were reported.

But at the same time there is an increase in reported cases of 4.1 per cent in boys as compared to the year 2006.

While greater ratio of the girl victims could be due to the reasons that they are more easily accessible at homes where the majority of abuses occur. Girls also are considered a mean of settling outstanding scores with rivals.

The findings show categories of crime ranging from abduction for sexual purposes to murder after sexual assault.

Abduction is still the highest among the females as seen in a total of 199 cases.

There are 289 molestation cases reported in 2007, where 96 are males and remaining 193 are females.

As many as 505 cases of rape and sodomy have been reported, out of which 213 are males and 292 are females.

Out of total 2,321 victims, 391 children were gang raped or gang sodomised. It seems that abusers not only lack an individual conscience but also a collective conscience.

According to reported cases gang rape and sodomy could involve 2 to 5 abusers.

Out of the total 2,321 victims 62 children were murdered after sexually assault.

The data shows that 80 children were of five years and below, 46 (57.5 per cent) females and 34 (42.5 per cent) males fell a victim of sexual assault. The children in this age group are easily exploited due to their innocence and vulnerability.

The report revealed that 358 children between six to 10 years were sexually abused. Our of them 168 (47 per cent) were females and 190 (53 per cent) male.

The data reveals that out of 585 victims the vulnerability of female children 339 (58 per cent) increases in comparison to male victims in the age bracket of 11to 15. The male victims are 246 (42 per cent) in this category.

The age analysis of the victims in the bracket of 16-18 years again shows that it is much more vulnerable for girls (82.7 per cent) as compared to boys (17.3 per cent).

The report said majority of abusers are acquaintances. Sexual abuse is usually committed by those who have power and control and easy access to children.

Out of a total of 5,144 abusers 3, 449 acquaintances were the major perpetrators of the crime.

Report says that 17.49 per cent of the abusers were strangers to the victims. Strangers are usually involved in gang rapes or sodomy.

An alarming finding is that there is an increase in the number of neighbour category from 118 in 2006 to 218 this year. This shows more than a 54 per cent increase making them the third highest category of abusers.

The cases in the rural communities are more as compared to the urban areas overall. This is directly related to the fact that 70 per cent of the population lives in rural areas.
Source: The Nation
Date:5/21/2008