20 May 2018: Experts stress for a rehabilitation policy for child rape victims
With the accelerating number of brutal child rape cases in Delhi, experts stress for a rehabilitation policy for victims.
Rehabilitation is about rebuilding the life of the victims of sexual assault and a policy is needed as these children live with the trauma for a long time, they said.
More than two cases of child rape are reported every day from the national capital.
Traumatizing effects: She is still scared and struggling: Father of victim
In April, a 10-year-old girl was raped in a madrasa in Ghaziabad after the accused allegedly took her from Ghazipur on the pretext of meeting his friends.
"She hasn't been able to step out of the home after the horrific incident and is scared and struggling. She was counseled but after that, she has not received any counseling," her father said.
Police and Parents: Lack of sensitivity from police, parents blame children
Delhi Commission For Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal said there was a lack of sensitivity from the police due to the burden of cases and in addition to that sometimes, even the parents blame the children.
"We have seen the parents blaming the children saying, 'all is lost'. For a child, it is very traumatic and confusing," she said.
Police give explanation: Police say delay in reaching to victims causes the misconception
The police, on the other hand, said they ensure that child rape cases are handled by women officers. However, the delay in sometimes reaching out to the victim creates the perception of insensitivity.
"If such a case is reported, the women personnel are specially called and sometimes a delay in reaching makes the family feel we are not understanding their trauma," an officer said.
Fact: 282 cases reported till April 30
Till April 30, 282 cases of child rape were reported as opposed to 278 last year during the same period. Last year, 894 such cases were reported according to Delhi Police Data.
Proper hand-holding: Rehabilitation of victims not limited to a court case
"There has to be a proper hand-holding for the victim at least from the time of the incident till the conviction," Maliwal said.
Advocate and child rights activist Ananth Kumar Asthana said the state must acknowledge that the rehabilitation of victims cannot be dependent on the outcome of a trial and is not limited to a court case, he said.
Fact: Death penalty for raping a child up to 12 years
Last month, the Union Cabinet had approved an ordinance to allow courts to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.