Child sexual abuse : Why changing perspective is necessary?

Ngairangbam Zevina Chanu
Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a stark reality worldwide. It can occur to children of any gender, boys or girls alike, and across a range of caste, religion, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. In India, the Juvenile Justice Act 2000, any persons below age 18 years are considered as a child. As per the National Study on Child Sexual Abuse, released by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India, Prayas and UNICEF (2007), 53% of children were sexually abused out of which 47% are girls and 53% are boys. The study shows that 50% of the perpetrators were known to the child and majority of the cases took place within the family environments or close neighbors.
A common misconception about CSA is that CSA encompasses only rape or molestation. However, it also includes various forms of other sexual violence. According to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, sexual abusive acts towards children includes, inserting the perpetrator’s private parts/hands/objects to the child’s private part, touching the child’s private parts, breast or buttock and making the child do the same, exposing childrento adult sexual activity or pornography, commercial sexual exploitation of children such as putting up a child’s image on media for pornographic purpose, passing sexual remark and sexual gestures or noise.The prevalence of CSA transcends cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. However, some children are more at risks than other.
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