Sexual abuse has for long been neglected by various segments of our society where social norms and cultural anecdotes have played an active role in suppressing these issues. These practices have affected the response of law enforcing agencies towards these issues of violence. There are many victimized segments in the society. However one segment that stands helpless due to its dependence on elders, and has less or no access to resources, is children.
Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is prevalent worldwide and is one of the menaces that are persistent in all classes. In Pakistan, children less than 18 years of age are falling prey to CSA at the ratio of 6 children per day. Sexual abuse is perceived as shameful and not to be discussed and hence hundreds of innocent lives live with the shadow, memories and trauma of the assault. Several children surrender their lives in the name of honor or absorb the pain for fear of losing a loving one, if the secret is revealed.
In the past, cases related to child sexual abuse were published in newspapers using humiliating words that could create more harm than good to the victim. However, in recent years various advancements in media and the steps taken by Social Organizations, National Commission for Child Welfare and Development, and Press Council of Pakistan have succeeded in sensitizing the reporters on following a code of ethics set for reporting a sexual abuse case.
Sahil working on child protection with a special focus on sexual abuse, has been publishing Cruel Number reports for the last 15 years, which is based on data collected through monitoring online and printed newspapers, direct calls received at Sahil for free counseling services, free legal aid and cases shared by other organizations working on CSA.
The report has been helpful in identifying the target groups for awareness raising. Moreover it has also been of a great help for other organizations to steer advocacy campaigns.
The current publication is a five year trend analysis of the reported CSA cases from 2007 to 2011. We hope this report will benefit our stakeholders in particular and society in general.
Click to download: Five Year Analysis