Coming home to danger
A study in Delhi reveals one in eight teenage girls have been raped or molested by someone within the family, reports Neha Mehta.india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 00:57 IST
For the Delhi girl, home is where the hurt is. A study by the police and NGO Swanchetan in north and west Delhi reveals that one in eight pre-teen and teenage girls have been raped or molested by someone within the family. And more than three-fourths fear being raped by a relative.
Shockingly, the family prefers the shroud of silence. So, not surprisingly, more than a third of the girls said they would not confide in their mothers, for fear of disbelief, or worse, being blamed.
Says Swanchetan’s Rajat Mitra, “Many girls do not find a safe environment within their families and are silent about their experiences.” Though they said they could protect themselves, they didn’t know how. And nearly a fourth wanted to run away from home.
Only two per cent said they could confide in their teachers, showing a need to sensitise schools to the problem.
Many girls were found to be growing up without an adequate male model. “The father’s role in most cases is biological, not nurturing,” says Mitra. He fears the survey is a grim pointer to the picture of society at large.
DCP S.P. Hooda, nodal officer of the police’s Parivartan campaign, under which the study was conducted, says: “The survey helps provide empirical basis to what we already know about domestic violence against the girl child. We will continue our community sensitization programs to address this.”