Child abuse is a harm to any child by anyone whether by an adult or child. In a country like India where the population of children is the largest. According to the reports, India has 19% child population of the world’s children. Though every action is taken with respect to children still there the condition is not changed much. There has been numerous changes in acts, amendments yet the situation is not changed. A child is a negligent act on the part of an adult or child which be sever threat to the life of the child. One of main cause for the child abuse is poverty. The poverty stricken section of the section who are illiterate makes the situation worse.
Child abuse and its impact
The child abuse is an act of harming a child by an adult or by a child. It can lead to serious mental and health issue of a child. An abuse can harm the child’s growth both physical and mental, dignity and survival. The abuse can be in form of physical, emotional or sexual, any kind=d of such treatment can lead to serious issue. The child abuse is a serious issue across the globe but extremely prevalent in India. In India, it is rooted to a great extent. The problem has been addressed by the government but the results are not satisfactory. A child can be abused in any place, it can his home, schools or playground. In this era, where internet is a basic need and the usage is tremendous, there the abuse is not limited to physical or emotional but can be done online through social networking sites. The impact is generally ever-lasting and hamper’s the child’s development and because of hampered development, a child will not be able to contribute to the society.
The various kinds of child abuse:
Physical: the physical form of abusing is very common. If we check the schools of India, we can find easily every second school a child is being bullied by his or her friends or his is punished excessively. Biting, hitting, bullying or leaving a child in an undignifiedposition are all the forms of physical abuse. It can be done not only students but also the teachers who punishes excessively. All this leaves a deep impact on the child’s brain which is very difficult to forget.
Emotional: it is very common but still unrecognizable. This form of abusing is not physical but mental. A child is mentally harassed. But in India, it is not acceptable only that a child can be mentally abused. It is believed there is no concept of depression. A child can be depressed too. It if often observed that emotional abusing hampers the child’s emotional development and which is very difficult to prove. There is lack of evidence to prove the emotional harassment. Is usually happens when a child does not get a supportive environment, gets blackmailed or his emotional needs are not fulfilled.
Sexual- another form of abuse which is growing fast. A child sexual abuse means involving a child in sexual activity who does not approve for it. This form is taking place every minute in some way or the other. A sexual abuse can be of physical or mental. In physical, touching or kissing the child inappropriately or vice versa, rape, bruises or swelling in the genital areas and other forms. In emotional, obscene remarks, online solicitation and other forms.
A life of a child has four parts- survival, development, protection and participation. But because of the abuses it is very difficult for the child develop properly. There are several constitutional provisions for this;
Article 14- right to equality
Every men, women, or child is equal in the eyes of law
Article 15- prohibition of discrimination along with thatempowers the state to make special provisions for women and children.
Article 21A- which states free and compulsory education to the children of age group 6 to 14.
Article 39 (e) of the Constitution of DPSP, Directive Principle of State Policy states that the state to ensure that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of the children are not abused.
Article 51A-(k) lays down a fundamental duty of the citizen which directs parents or guardians to provide opportunities for education of their child between the ages of 6 to 14 years.
There are several policies and programmes implemented by the government for the welfare of a child such are:
· National policy for children, 1974
· National policy on Education, 1986
· National plan of Action for Children, 2005
· National Institute of Public Cooperation and child development
Acts implemented for the welfare of the children:
· Protection of child right Act, 2005
· Protection of children from sexual offences Act, 2012 popularly known as POSCO Act.
Jai Prakash @ Prakash v State of Rajasthan
It was contended that child abuse especially sexual abuse shocks even the judiciary. Innocent children who trust the adults are falling prey in their hands. A child’s faith is betrayed and shatters his life.
Sakshi v Union of India
In this case, the Supreme Court of India laid the guidelines for dealing with cases of child abuse.
As per the reports of NCRB, in 2017 32608 cases were reported and in 2018 39,827 cases were reported under Protection of Children form Sexual Offences Act (POSCO). Every day 109 children are sexually abused in India. This rate is increasing every day.
It is clear from the reports and cases that the child abuse is increasing day by day and there are harmful impacts on a child because of the abuses. The impacts on a child’s brain is ever-lasting, he cannot forget what happened with him. The impact is very harmful on the development and also upon his emotions. If something like this happens in such an innocent time its effects lasts. In my opinion, in order to stop this, the government should come up with more policies, should conduct several events or programmes where the real meaning of abuse should be delivered so that the people can understand. But only the policies or acts ill not help, the parents of the child should understand the mental condition of their child, the emotional trauma the innocent is suffering, they should talk and understand the child’s condition. With the support of the parents, society and government, this crime can be stopped and a child can get a happy and stress free life.
 https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/109-children-sexually-abused-every-day-india-2018-1636160-2020-01-12 [Last accessed on 29th April, 2020].
https://indiankanoon.org/docfragment/1930536/?formInput=cases%20on%20child%20abuse[Last accessed on 29th April, 2020].
Author Details: Piyush Jalan (Amity University, Kolkata)
The views of the author are personal only. (if any)