Sexual Abuse in Children: Shocking Figures in Pakistan
Keywords:Sexual child abuse, prevention.
Introduction: Sexual abuse is an alarming issue in children of Pakistan1 which has not only physical but also mental implications.2,3 It is common globally but many cases are not reported because of fear, feeling of self-blame, guilt, or many other reasons.4,5,6
Pakistan is still in the infancy period to deal with and protect child abuse cases although legislation has been passed and needs to work a lot on this issue. This article gives an idea of the current situation in Pakistan so that policies can be made and protective measures were done at the grass root level.
Objective: To determine the frequency of sexual abuse in children of Pakistan.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study with retrospective analysis from the data of SAHIL Non–governmental Organization (NGO) for the year 2017.
Results: In the data analyzed a total of 1002 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in 2017 out of which 414 cases (41%) were of sodomy and 588 cases (58.6%) were of rape. Almost all the age groups were the victims in which boys were more affected in the 6-10 years age group while girls were more affected in the 11-15 years of age group. The data shows that 74% of cases were reported from Punjab, 18% from Sindh, 4% from KPK (Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa), and 2% from Islamabad's capital territory. Also, 17% were from urban areas and 83% were from rural areas.
Conclusion: Alarmingly high figures of child sexual abuse are noted in Pakistan mainly in the province of Punjab and serious efforts are needed for its prevention in terms of public legislation as well as awareness of parents and teaching staff.