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Child victims of sex abuse mistreated, humiliated: report

The 82-page report entitled "Breaking the Silence" contains more than 100 interviews on the experience of dealing with government institutions.

 
New Delhi: 

A recent report by a human rights watch dog has stated that child victims of sexual assaults in India are humiliated by police and mistreated by doctors when they gather the courage to report abuse.

"Children who bravely complain of sexual abuse are often dismissed or ignored by the police, medical staff and other authorities," said Meenakshi Ganguly, regional director of the Human Rights Watch at the unveiling of the report.

The 82-page report entitled "Breaking the Silence" contains more than 100 interviews on the experience of dealing with government institutions.

The rights watch said that the authorities had to become more sensitive towards victims.

The report details how children are sometimes forced to undergo a so-called 'finger test' to determine their sexual history, even though forensic experts say the examination has no scientific value.

It also quotes the mother of a three-year-old girl who was left in severe pain after being seen by doctors examining her alleged assault.

"For six to eight hours after the examination, my daughter did not urinate because it was hurting her so much," the mother was quoted as saying in the report.

Ganguly said it was this sort of "mistreatment" that needed to be addressed and called for an urgent overhaul of the criminal justice system.

Many of the criticisms contained in the report echo those voiced by protestors in the aftermath of the December 16 gang-rape in New Delhi.

The number of reports of sexual assault in India, whether attacks on children or adults, are believed to represent only a fraction of the overall number, with victims often too scared to file complaints.

Source: Times of India

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