For 30-year-old Nivedita (name changed on request), the scars of child sexual abuse are still raw. Since the last three months, she has been visiting a family counsellor after her year-old love marriage hit a rocky patch.
It was only after the counsellor dug deep into her childhood that Nivedita could connect the dots. She confessed that she had been a victim of child sexual abuse when she was in Class 4. And the sad part is — Nivedita is not alone. Several children like her are facing daily abuse and harassment.
There has been a 100% increase in child molestation cases over the last one year, psychologists and counsellors say. “In the last one year, the number of cases has doubled. Earlier, I used to see two-three cases of child molestation in a month. But now, I see at least six cases on an average,” said Gitanjali Sharma, marriage and family counsellor in DLF-2.
She attributes this upward trend to the increase in nuclear families, rise in divorce cases and a materialistic lifestyle.
“Unhappiness in a family has an impact on children. This doesn’t mean that it is restricted to broken homes. With both parents working, they don’t have enough time for children and fail to keep a check on what they do,” explained Sharma.
With most cases being reported from the teenage group, 40% are victims of incest and another 40% cases involve visiting persons such as domestic helps. “As known people are involved in 80% cases, most victims go into denial mode,” said Dr Brahmdeep Sindhu, senior psychiatrist at General Hospital, Gurgaon.