Sexual Offences Against Female Child in India
17 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 3, 2015
Crime is not an offence against an individual only but against the society as a whole. In the present social context, children are more vulnerable to crime and it’s mandatory that the State should protect the life and liberty of its citizen especially the marginalized and weaker sections. But the proved ineffectiveness on the part of the State to curb the violence against children erodes the confidence in the rule of law. The neglect and indifference toward them during the investigation and subsequent prosecution help the offenders bypass penal provisions of law. The increasing rate of acquittal in offences against children shows that judicial responses towards child victims are not sympathetic. The provisions of the law relating to sexual assault against adult women, also apply to cases of child abuse. The legal definition of rape excludes several other forms of sexual assault and abuse that can injure the bodies and minds of children. The weakest among those who are marginalized and bearing the brunt of the onslaught on the poor are children, and especially female.
“Sexual Offences” relating to rape and unnatural offences constitute an altogether different kind of crime, which is the result of a perverse mind. The perversity may result in rape or in homosexuality. Those who commit such crimes are psychologically sadistic person exhibiting that tendency in rape forcibly committed by them. An attempt has been made to examine statutory provisions, and critically evaluate Courts attitude towards such crimes. Female Children face all forms of sexual assault in India and offences against female child have reached an epidemic proportion. The number of child rape cases registered is indicative of sexual assault against the female child. A total of 48,338 child rape cases were recorded from 2001 to 2011. These include 2,113 cases in 2001 and 7,112 cases during 2011. The cases of child rape have been consistently increasing and India saw an increasing of 336% of child rape cases from 2001 (2,113 cases) to 2011 (7,112 cases). These are just the tip of the iceberg as the large majority of the cases of child rape are not reported to the police while female children regularly become victims of other forms of sexual assault too. Indian Children, who account for a staggering 42% of the country’s population, have long been the victims of some of the most brutal sexual crimes known to humanity. The lackadaisical attitude of the Union Legislature, the apathy of its law enforcement agencies and the conspicuous absence of any specialized legal framework to deal with cases of child sexual abuse have only played the role of transforming this bitter truth into a perennial reality that seems to have been passively solidified and strengthened by decades of State inaction, With the growing precedence of child trafficking, sex tourism, the devadasi system, prostitution, child pornography, incest and child rape, one is left horrified at the prospect that there is not a single legislation that specifically deals with the issue of child sexual abuse.
A majority of sexual offences committed against female child are not even reported, let alone prosecuted. If any individual is brought to trial, conviction is unlikely as cases are very difficult to prove. Moreover, sexual abuse cases are usually tried in criminal Courts where defense Counsel tactics include postponements or adjournments and cross-examination techniques are designed to confuse and discredit the female child. As a result, offences of such type go unreported and even if they are reported the lengthy and cumbersome Court procedures give enough time to the offender to pressurize the female child to retract the statement.
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