On May 10th, The Hindu, a New Delhi, India newspaper reported:
“The Lok Sabha (upper house of the Parliament of India) on Tuesday passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill, 2011. The Bill, already passed by the Rajya Sabha, (lower house of the Parliament of India) will protect children below 18 from sexual abuse, and seeks to set up special courts for speedy trial of cases against them and provide stringent punishment extending up to life term for offenders.”
‘The Bill is gender-neutral. It seeks to protect children from sexual offenses and the burden of proof will be on the accused,’ Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said. Piloting the Bill, Ms. Tirath said the legislation had been necessitated due to the fact that incidents of child abuse had increased immensely, particularly in the National Capital Region. According to a study conducted by her Ministry in 13 States, 53 per cent of children accepted that they had been sexually exploited.” This is a huge step on the part of India, a badly needed one but it provides help as a start in the right direction.”
Here’s another alarming stat:75% of middle/upper class women in India have been abused. Stats like these are almost unbelievable, except to another domestic violence victim who is so aware of what an untreated childhood sexual abuse victim has waiting for them. The Centers for Disease Control call child sexual abuse epidemic in proportion. In the United States there are 63 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse. But the stats from other parts of the world are much worse, especially in the Indian subcontinent.
Ravi Sahay, writer, educator and speaker, author of My Health is Your Wealth has written an insightful and brilliant article for Youth Ki Awaaz, an internet newspaper called the Mouthpiece for the Youth. His article is titled Child Sexual Abuse is India’s Time Bomb……but Can We Diffuse It, a title that brings chills to the back of your neck. In it he documents how India’s popular star Aamir Khan, during the second episode of his TV show, “Satyameya Jayate” which means “Truth Alone Wins”, exposed successfully the best or worst kept secret against children in India – child sexual abuse.
Mr. Sahay shines the spotlight on the problem of child sexual abuse, with numbers, stats and quotes from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Judith Herman a psychiatrist, researcher, teacher, and author of Trauma and Recovery, who has focused on the understanding and treatment of incest and traumatic stress. He has a three point plan that so clearly illustrates all that needs to happen to get a handle on this problem in India.
1. Breaking the silence is the first step in the recovery process
2. The Indian society needs to take responsibility for this crime and establish proper restitution
3. They need to spread information and increase awareness regarding this topic urgently. They need to educate our pre-school, elementary and middle school children
The remainder of the world needs to implement these three solutions to combat their child sexual abuse problems as well. Are we in the United States going to wait until our statistics are as bad as India’s? I take my hat off to Mr. Shay for a badly needed explanation on the totality of this problem in India and solutions to help our children.
The URL for Ravi Sahay’s article is: