I am part of the disturbing child sexual abuse and incest statistic in India where one in two children are subjected to some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. I suffered severe sexual abuse (as defined by the Government of India (2007) study), by a close family member over multiple years until I was 13 years old. I don’t remember clearly when the abuse started. We were a loving, affluent, well-educated family where such things are not expected to happen. The article below explains my story in more detail.
Now I am using my trauma and suffering to effect change. As demonstrated in my case, child molesters are serial offenders. If they can get away the first time, they will do it again. Children are dependent on adults to file complaints and are easily intimidated both by the perpetrators and caregivers into maintaining their silence. Allowing an adult survivor to file complaints informs law enforcement officials about potential offenders and enables them to take proactive action and prevent continuing abuse by the same perpetrator.
The Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act (2012) in Chapter V, Section 19 (1) says “any person who has an apprehension that an offence under this Act is likely to be committed… shall provide this information to the (a) Special Juvenile Police Unit or (b)the Local Police; and Section 19(2) says “every report shall be ascribed an entry number and recorded in writing”
However, the reality is that adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse are summarily ignored.
Please join me in petitioning the Minister of Women & Child Development, Government of India to amend current legislation to enable adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file complaints of past abuse and prevent repeat offences by child molesters.