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Increasing Number of Child Molestation Cases in Pakistan

Every year, half of the world’s children are subjected to abuse. The perpetrator’s abuse and the survivor’s suffering, as well as the repercussions, are often hidden from public view. In every civilized society, child molestation or sexual abuse is an unspoken yet troubling question. In this age of globalization, it is critical to set aside time to educate and motivate the most marginalized members of society against violence from outsiders, teachers, and family members. Such offences are becoming more common. Every day, various forms of child violence are reported in local or national newspapers. Because of the brutality and inhumane torture depicted in some of these tales, they seem unlikely. Some fathers are found to be abusing their own children, teachers bully their students, women batter boys, and employers attempt to recruit uneducated, unskilled young children under the age of maturity.

child abuse in pakistan

For a variety of causes, such as family coercion, poverty, parental neglect, societal barriers, and perpetrators’ political control, these forms of child violence have gone unreported. South Asia is home to 23% of the world’s population and is also regarded as the poorest region on the planet. Child labor, child trafficking, child prostitution, and child sexual exploitation are common problems in many South Asian countries, including Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Violence against children can take many forms, including psychological, sexual, mental, and physical abuse. Physical abuse is described as an adult’s physical anger directed at a child. Child sexual abuse is a form of abuse in which a child is sexually stimulated by an adult or older adolescent. Asking a child to participate in sexual acts, displaying pornographic content to a child, and sexual intercourse/attempted intercourse with a child, viewing of the child’s genitalia with or without physical contact, and using a child for prostitution or pornography are all examples of child sexual abuse.

Depression, unemployment, physical and mental disease, inadequate socialization or social difficulties are all common characteristics among offenders. Various taboos, such as the purported curative powers of virgins, are often cited or assumed by abusers as explanations for child sexual abuse. Child molestation is described as “the participation of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully understand, is unable to give informed permission to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared, or otherwise that violates the laws or social taboos of society,” according to the World Health Organization (2006). Males are most often the culprits of sexual harassment. In 2006, a study on the prostitution of Pakistani boys in Lahore and Peshawar concluded that while society strongly condemned male-female relationships without marriage, socially acceptable intimacy between males, whether social or physical, was not. In Pakistan, there are no reliable figures on child molestation or sexual abuse, but it is estimated that girls are more likely than boys to be victims of sexual harassment (19%). In India, 52 percent of school-aged children were sexually assaulted, with family members accounting for 89 percent of the perpetrators. Most NGO calculated 3445 abuse cases from 91 national and local Pakistani newspapers in 2017. In Rawalpindi/Islamabad, 17 percent of 300 school-aged children (1 in 7 girls and 1 in 5 boys) were child molestation survivors, with the majority of victims (72 percent) being under the age of 13. In 80 percent of these molestation cases, close friends of the victims were found to be involved. 40-60% of known sexual attacks were committed by family members around the world, regardless of religion or culture, and the victims were children.

Child mobility, poverty, insufficient education, poor rule of law, and child labor are all common factors in child abuse or child slavery in Pakistan, as they are in other South Asian countries. Since people are hesitant to open a Pandora’s Box of problems, child sexual exploitation is possibly a less recognized and explored type of abuse in Pakistan. Despite this, child sexual exploitation has been a problem in Pakistan since the country’s independence in 1947. These accidents have long-term consequences for both society and the victims. Despite the fact that child sexual abuse occurs in Pakistani society, it is a taboo topic. It is easy to talk about sex in Pakistan, but talking about sexuality is frowned upon. The number of child molestation survivors is growing by the day, with a total of 21,760 cases registered between January 2010 and December 2016. In 2010, there were 2,252 incidents reported, followed by 2,303 incidents in 2011, 2,788 incidents in 2012, 3,002 incidents in 2013, 3,508 incidents in 2014, 3,768 incidents in 2015, and 4,139 incidents in 2016. From 2010 to 2016, the gender-specific distribution of child molestation cases published. From 2010 to 2013, the number of abused girls was roughly 2.5 times that of boys, but the number of boys gradually rose from 2014 to 2016. These figures display the distribution of child sexual abuse accidents by province, with Punjab accounting for the majority of events. The true number may be higher than those recorded because, out of respect for their children and to prevent defaming their entire family, parents try not to tell others about the incident. As a result, they also blame the survivors. Similarly, survivors cannot tell their parents about accidents because they are afraid, so these cases go unreported. These statistics are representative of every civilized society’s ideals. Despite the fact that the majority of these molestation cases were reported to the police, the number of cases reported annually did not decrease.

The accidents happened at the residences of the victims, with just as many incidents occurring at the homes of friends. The majority of the abusers were friends, with strangers coming in second. Many offenders are identified to their victims or at the very least to families of the survivors, as opposed to strangers. Faith leaders, parents, civil society, politicians, law enforcement officials, and social scientists must all discuss the problem of child molestation or sexual abuse as a top priority. Furthermore, the outcomes of various NGOs working on child rights and child sexual abuse awareness must be assessed by relevant authorities.

Poverty, illiteracy, and numerous inappropriate taboos on sexual health are the main determinants of these molestation cases in Pakistan. All children should have access to basic health care and education, according to the government. Furthermore, it is the government’s primary responsibility to educate law enforcement officials about how to deal with child abuse victims. Many child sexual abuse data points were gathered from 84 national although local newspapers, and they do not accurately represent the seriousness of the situation. Since NGOs cannot perform this function as efficiently as government departments, the government must collect data on child molestation or abuse survivors at the national level for policymakers and social scientists.  The government should also implement a national action plan to combat child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Children in Pakistan are sexually abused in a variety of settings, including markets, schools, hospitals/clinics, madrasas and police stations, even in their own homes. The data analysis revealed that the number of these abuse cases in Pakistan is steadily rising year after year. Despite the efforts of some NGOs to raise child sexual abuse consciousness in society, the issue of child molestation remains a taboo subject for discussion.

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Category: Social

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