Shocking statistic reveals that one in every two children in India suffers from sexual abuse.
A survey conducted by humanitarian aid organization World Vision India surveyed nearly 46,000 young respondents in India, only to reveal a chilling statistic that one in every two Indian children is a victim of child sexual abuse.
World Vision conducted the survey in the 12-18 age group across 26 states in India. The daunting statistic also reveals that one in every five India children can't feel safe because of the fear of becoming a victim of sexual abuse.
Launching a campaign to put an end to child sexual abuse in India by 2021, World Vision India National Director Cherian Thomas revealed that one in four families never even report child abuse in the country, according to Newsgram.
While the revelations that one in every two children in India suffer from sexual abuse is already shocking, Thomas told IANS that there "continues to be a huge silence," suggesting that the real magnitude of sexual violence against children in India could be even more terrifying.
Thomas also revealed that about 98 percent of all sexual abuse cases against children in India are committed by people known to the children, mostly their family members.
Not much action has been taken by the Indian government over the past decade, after a 2007 study by the Women and Child Development ministry indicated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys were the victims of abuse in India, with its population of over 1.3 billion people, according to the South China Morning Post.
The disturbing revelations of the study sent shockwaves across the world, as the total figure (223 million) is more than the combined populations of the U.K., France, and Germany.
India's government has been criticized by human advocates and child rights groups for years for its lack of action in encouraging India children to report sexual abuse.
The new campaign by World Vision, titled "It Takes the World to End Violence against Children," is set to target 10 million children across India to ensure that the country is "a safe environment for children," according to Thomas.
The World Vision campaign against sexual abuse, stretching across 25 states and one union territory, is set to educate Indian children about what is the "good touch" and what is the "bad touch," as well as train them in various other aspects of life.
Saying that World Vision will cooperation with other civil society and child rights organizations in India, Thomas insisted that "it is time that we all come under one banner and umbrella to focus our work around child protection."
Another disturbing aspect of the statistic that one in every two children in India suffers from sexual abuse, is that India is home to 19 percent of the world's children. That means nearly 10 percent of the world's children, in India alone, are victims of sexual abuse.
The shocking revelations by World Vision come four years after a 2013 study by the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that half of all children in India become victims of some form of sexual abuse. A related fact to keep in mind is that about 27 million children are born each year in India, according to the Friends of Salaam Baalak Trust.
Only 48,000 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in India between 2001 and 2011, indicating that the fear of reporting sexual abuse runs deep in the mindset of Indian children. The potential reasons for this are numerous, including societal values, and the very real chance that those people who are perpetuating the abuse (or remaining silent about abuse) were abused children themselves.
Even despite the lack of action from the Indian government, World Vision, as well as other child rights groups, are trying to challenge the space where sexual abuse mostly takes place: the family home.
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