TIRUCHIRAPALLI, India: The Tamil Nadu government has issued fresh guidelines under POCSO Act with an aim to ensure that victims of child sexual abuse are not subjected to secondary victimisation during trial, and strengthen evidence against the abusers.
|Tamil Nadu is a state in southeast India opposite Sri Lanka|
The social welfare department GO had issued the guidelines recently to NGOs, psychologists, social workers and others associated with pre-trial and trial stage.
The guidelines say that even in situations of mass violence, caste or communal conflict, doctors must look for evidence of sexual assault among all girls and women who come to the hospital, whether they are brought dead or alive. Awesome!
It also insists on questioning victims in a child friendly environment, taking into consideration the developmental level and age.
The officials should not confuse chronological age with normal developmental stages. A child's developmental age may not match what may be expected for chronological age.
It also warned against using bribes or enticements to make the child speak on abuse. No expressions of surprise, disgust, disbelief or other emotional reactions should be shown to descriptions of the abuse.
The interviewer should use anatomically detailed dolls for the purpose of interview if the child was shy, it said.
Differently-abled victims could be interviewed by involving a neural professional to facilitate communication through sign language, the GO said.
This is great! A big step in the long journey toward protection of children from pedophiles.
Tamil Nadu government - you are my hero for today.