THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Kerala, India: Despite all the awareness, cases of sexual violence against children are rising in an alarming rate across the state. Shockingly, the capital district tops the list in highest number of cases recorded so far in this year.
Freshly released data by the state police show that in the first seven months of the year,
Thiruvananthapuram recorded 155 cases, 44 in city police limits and 111 in rural district police limits. This is just eight cases short of the total number of cases recorded during the previous year.
In 2015, the toll was 163, 61 in city limits and 102 in rural limits. Malappuram comes second with 138 cases in seven months.
While most other officials equated rise in reported cases to the level of increased awareness of the public, city police commissioner G Sparjan Kumar said that this showed the perversion of using children for sexual pleasure has been spreading to more and more people.
"It's a paradoxical situation where in one side the children are becoming aware of the crime and on the other side their predators are also increasing in numbers," Sparjan Kumar said.
The figures show that cases have been on the rise in almost all other districts in the state too. The size of the district, number of police stations, and high population would all be reasons why Thiruvananthapuram was on the top of the table. The Childline was also functioning very efficiently in the district, resulting in more cases being reported, the commissioner said.
"The rise in number of divorces too might be contributing to the sexual desperation among men," he added. He had even came across several cases in which stepfathers sexually exploited children, he said recalling some cases.
Child welfare committee member Rev Father James Joye said that unfortunately the authorities were at a loss of effective systems to address the issue. "All that we do now is to register cases against offenders under Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and rehabilitate the victims as per the provisions of JJ (Juvenile Justice) Act," he said.
Obviously, there is a desperate need for educating children and empowering them to resist and report the evil regardless of who perpetrates it.