The arrest of a Mira Road businessman for raping his daughter for nine years has shocked the city, but volunteers working with abuse victims reveal that the horrific crime is not uncommon.
Volunteers said close family members or trusted people were responsible for a large chunk of sexual abuse cases in children.
“In 85 of 100 cases, close family members or those responsible for the welfare of the child have been responsible for abuse. What is unfortunate is that children aren’t trained to differentiate between safe and unsafe touch,” said Nishit Kumar, head of communication, Childline India Foundation.
A survey carried out last year by the Women and Child Welfare department revealed that 53 per cent of children interviewed across country reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse. It observed that boys were equally at risk as girls and children in the group of 5 to 12 years were in the high-risk group.
“Sexual abuse is not done at one time; it can be done over years. The children will not come forward to report it; parents must start picking up signs. They should sensitise their children and build trust to discuss abuse,” said Vithal Kshirsagar, senior member of Hamara Foundation, which runs a helpline for victims of abuse.