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Child Abuse and Pornography

When someone thinks about child abuse the very first thing which comes to their mind is physical harm or aggressive behavior or a threat of both. However, the issue is much more complex and wider than one can think or imagine. Child Abuse is one of the biggest social stigmas in society and a major human right issue and public health concern. It can be manifested in both physical and emotional forms. In recent times child sexual abuse is a proliferating problem.

Sexual behavior includes both touching and non-touching behaviors. Sexual abuse doesn't need to involve penetration, force, pain, or maybe touching. If an adult engages in any sexual behavior (looking, showing, or touching) with a toddler to satisfy the adult's interest or sexual needs, it's sexual assault.

Child sexual abuse material also known as child pornography is a form of child sexual exploitation. It refers to any content which depicts sexually uncensored activities involving a child. Child pornography may use a variety of media like Visual depiction includes videos, photographs, and computer-generated images. These photographs and videos are most often collected with the purpose of being shared widely for others to watch and in doing so victimizing the child many times.

There is an increasing trend towards younger victims and greater brutality. It also includes coercion and cajoling of children into sexual activities by a dominant man. Children may also traffic and kidnapped for the purposes of pornography, and child prostitution. Children below the age of 16 are at greater risk because many people have fantasy and thoughts to engage in sexual relations with children but actually it is a mental disorder known as pedophilia.

Crime Against Children Sees A Steep Rise

The growing complexities in life and the change in social and economic conditions have exposed the children to various forms of abuse. But the worst part is that such heinous crimes of child sexual abuse are not reported by the individuals. It is largely ignored by the public and by the Criminal Justice system of India. Reports showed that the crime against children has risen steeply in the time period of 2008 to 2018.

According to the reports released by the National Crime Record Bureau, 32,608 cases were reported in 2017 while 39,827 cases were reported in 2018 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. As many as 109 children were sexually abused everyday in India. Only one-third cases of Child Sexual Abuse are identified and fewer than that are reported by the individuals.

Childhood Trauma And The Impact Of Adulthood

The impact of sexual assault doesn't end when the abuse ends. Childhood trauma appears to be a critical etiological think about the event of a variety of great disorders both in childhood and in adulthood. Survivors of sexual abuse are at significantly greater risks for severe and chronic mental health issues, including alcoholism, depression, anxiety, PTSD and high-risk behaviors. When children are abused, they could display disturbing sorts of attachment and abnormal patterns of emotional response toward their caregivers. Sexually abused children may need trouble walking or sitting due to disabling pain or injuries.

Additionally, they might be afraid to change their clothes in front of other people because they do not want others to see their bodies. They might also avoid sitting with peers or engaging in physical exercises that would cause being touched. Although many children who have experienced sexual abuse show behavioral and emotional changes, many others do not. Their ability to trust adults to require care of them can also be jeopardized. On the other hand, children who have the support of an understanding of caregiver and effective treatment can recover without long-term effects.

Who Are The Perpetrators

A perpetrator may be a one that has been determined to possess caused or knowingly allowed the maltreatment of a toddler. The majority of perpetrators are someone the kid or family knows.

A perpetrator doesn't need to be an adult to harm a toddler. They can have any relationship to the kid including an older sibling or playmate, loved one, a teacher, a teacher or instructor, a caretaker, or the parent of another child. Abusers can manipulate victims to remain quiet about the sexual assault employing a number of various tactics. Often an abuser will use their position of power over the victim to coerce or intimidate the kid. They might tell the kid that the activity is normal or that they enjoyed it. An abuser may make threats if the child refuses to participate or plans to tell another adult threat also includes many violent activities such as beating the child. Some of the abusers make video clips while doing the intercourse to warn the child that he will viral the clip or show it to the child's love ones.

Legal Response To Child Sexual Abuse

In India, Child Sexual Abuse was not publicly acknowledged as a Criminal Offence, It was only after the enactment of new legislation called Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 that criminalized a range of acts including child rape, harassment and exploitation for pornography.

Section 67B of the IT Act, specifically provides stringent punishment for publishing, processing or transmitting child pornography in electric form.

Section 317 of the Indian Penal Code provides punishment for the exposure and abandonment of children by parents or others to expose or to leave them with the intention of abandonment.
Section 360 and 369 of the Indian Penal Code provide punishment for Kidnapping and Abduction respectively. Section 366A deals with the procuration of a minor girl. It is a punishable offense if a girl is forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person.

Section 372 and 373 of the Indian Penal Code provide punishment for the selling and buying of minors for prostitution respectively.

Section 3 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act does not use the term rape and does not confine penetrative sex to penile penetration, it just broadens the offense named ‘penetrative sexual assault' under act 5 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to include oral sex as well.

Certain preventive measures should be taken to avoid such heinous crimes of Child Sexual Abuse in society. Individuals should be taught about sex education on school levels. Martial Arts should be made compulsory for students. Posters on preventing Child Sexual Abuse should be there at every metro station, bus stations and railway stations to increase awareness among individuals about such crimes. Speedy trial courts should be there in the districts to ensure justice to the citizens. 

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