The fight against child sexual abuse is not going to be a smooth one. As the country continues to grapple with the nuisance, the cases registered 2.27 per cent increase in 2011 in comparison to the ones in the previous year (2010). This was revealed in a report compiled by Sahil, a non-government organisation .
The total number of sexual abuse cases in 2011, stand at a staggering 2,303. If abduction cases are excluded, the figures of sexual abuse cases of 1,191 victims show that three children are assaulted everyday.
In addition, abduction cases have steadily increased from 850 to 1,112. On average, three children are abducted everyday.
The three major crime categories show that there were 505 cases of rape/sodomy, 279 cases of gang rape/sodomy and 141 cases of attempted rape/sodomy. Gender-wise distribution follows trends of the previous years where mostly girls became victims of sexual abuse. The data shows that 72 per cent girls and 28 per cent boys were sexually abused.
Furthermore, a total of 4,846 attackers abused 2,303 children. The largest group identified was that of acquaintances, the second largest group being strangers followed by perpetrators within the family. Like previous years, the highest percentage of vulnerable age group among girls was 1-15 years.
Among the boys, the age bracket of 6-15 years was the most vulnerable.
The time period of abuse shows that 85 per cent of the children were abused for one time. In five per cent of the cases, children were abused for more than a day, whereas for 10% of victims, the time period remains unknown.
Province-wise division shows that 79 per cent cases of abuse were reported from Punjab, followed by 10 per cent cases from Sindh, then four per cent from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and a combined of three per cent from Islamabad and Baluchistan. Only three cases were reported from Azad Jammu Kashmir and one from Gilgit.
The urban-rural divide shows that almost 60 per cent cases were reported from rural areas whereas 40 per cent cases were reported from the urban areas.
The identification of a name was given of 56 per cent victims, whereas the identity of 37 per cent of the victims was not revealed. Names and pictures of six percent victims and pictures only of one percent victims were published.
Of all the cases, 74 per cent were registered with police, 24 per cent were unregistered and status of almost two per cent cases remained unknown. The report was compiled from 65 national, regional and local newspapers.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2012.