Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Pakistan in the Dark Ages When It Comes to Child Sex Abuse

In 2015, the total number of child sexual abuse cases in Pakistan was 3,768. This figure brings the number of abused children to 10 percent per day. 

Well, actually, it brings it to ten per day, not 10%. Although, 10% might actually be closer to the truth.

The number also shows an increase of seven percent from the previous year. According to statistics compiled from 84 national, regional and local newspapers, 1,974 girls and 1,794 boys have been abused during the past years. 

The report shows that a total of 5,483 abusers – 1,943 acquaintances and 829 strangers – are on record.

1,943 & 829 account for almost exactly half of the total. What were the other half if they weren't acquaintances or strangers? And how is it that there are 1715 more abusers than victims? Does it mean that 30% of abusers were determined to have abused more than one victim in that year?

Moreover, the highest percentage of susceptible age group among children was 11-15 years. At least 2,616 cases of abuse were reported from Punjab, 638 cases reported from Sindh, 207 from Balochistan, 167 from Islamabad, 113 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 21 from Azad Jammu Kashmir, three from Gilgit-Baltistan and three from Fata.

Child abuse inevitably leads to psychological disorders. Many scholars and psychologists have linked sexual abuse in children to several disorders like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, low self-esteem and post-traumatic stress. 

The government needs to understand the correlation between the two and the repercussions this has on society. Stricter laws need to be put in place to prevent cases of child sexual abuse.

Iqra Aziz, Karachi

Well, you're right Iqra, but soooo much more is needed than stricter laws. First of all, most child sex abuses are not being reported. There are at least 65 million children in Pakistan. In India more than half of all children have been sexually abused. Globally the average is probably around 15%. For Pakistan, I would be surprised if it is less than 30% because of much poverty and great stigma against reporting.

Even if we took a conservative estimate of 20% that would mean 13 million children would be sexually abused before they turn 18. 13m in 18 years would mean 722,000 children are being abused every year. In all probability, it's more than one million per year, and only a few thousand are getting reported. Why is that?

1. Police are discouraging people from reporting
2. Families are discouraging people from reporting
3. Victims themselves are very reluctant to report

Consequently, you get a very small fraction of victims reporting - I would suggest fewer than 5%.

What Pakistan must do is:

1. Train the police to believe child victims, to record every report, and fully investigate them. Children have no voice so when they do speak up - they must not be shut down.
2. Train the police to treat children with care and compassion. If they have been abused they are extremely vulnerable need special handling.
3. Change the court system so as to deal with child sex abuse cases quickly and gently. Children should not have to be in the same room with their abuser, ever.
4. Train judges to ensure the safety of children comes first, ie violent offenders should never be set free while a child victim is still a child.
5. Teach children in elementary school what safe-unsafe touch is, how to report it and who to report it to. Many children don't even know they are being sexually abused.