Not only in school, children in Maharashtra unsafe at home too: UNICEF survey

The survey reveals that 24% people who knew about the abuse at home did nothing. 
Schools admit that only a few children speak up against abuse, despite complaint boxes being available on campus.(Pic for Representation)
Schools admit that only a few children speak up against abuse, despite complaint boxes being available on campus.(Pic for Representation)
Updated on Mar 22, 2017 10:30 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

While mostly schools are vilified for subjecting children to harsh punishments or sexual abuse, a recent study has revealed that cases of violence against children at home are not few either and most of them go unreported. Most parents and adult family members do nothing to deal with the complaints, despite it being brought to their notice. Educators and child development specialists said this is due to the absence of child sensitive mechanisms to report violence. 

Close to 5,000 children across Maharashtra, between 13 and 17 years of age were interviewed by The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), along with non-profits such as NINEISMINE and Mumbai Smiles, to identify, record, and track the violence that children experience. 

The study said children don’t report violence inflicted on them at home for fear of repercussions (35%), feelings of shame (16%), lack of anyone to talk to (16%) and threats (8%). Of those who chose to report it, most (32%) got no help. The survey reveals that 24% people who knew about the abuse at home did nothing. 

Pressured by the gender roles constructed by society, boys experience more shame while disclosing the instances compared to girls. The survey said 65% boys didn’t report the incidents, compared to 31% girls. 

Child development specialists said while new laws such as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, emphasise mandatory reporting of child abuse but most cases at homes go unreported. 

Rekha Vijayakar, director, Abled Disabled All People Together (ADAPT), an NGO, said teachers often notice injuries children’s bodies and summon their parents, but the matter seldom goes to the police. “The extent of violence meted out at homes by parents would be considered a crime in foreign countries,” said Vijayakar. “Children are mercilessly beaten up in an attempt to discipline them or out of frustration.” 

Adding that some parents show an extremely callous attitude towards disabled children, Vijayakar said, “We see parents from affluent homes ignoring the needs of their differently-abled children. But there are no mechanisms to report about such incidents.” 

It is easier for parents to get away with violence, compared to teachers or school staff, said educators. “All we can do is summon the parents and warn them that violence at home will not be tolerated,” said Rohan Bhat, chairperson, Children’s Academy Group of Schools, Kandivli and Borivli. 

Schools admit that only a few children speak up against abuse, despite complaint boxes being available on campus, where they can report anonymously. “We act immediately if we receive a complaint, but in many cases, children are afraid to speak out,” said Father Francis Swamy, principal, St Mary’s School (Mazgaon). 

Children are most vulnerable at their workplace and susceptible to exploitation and violence, the study adds. Around 13% of respondents feared being verbally abused by employers, 11% are afraid that they won’t be paid and 10% fear losing jobs. “Children working as domestic workers are beaten up most often,” said Farida Lambay, co-founder, Pratham NGO, which rescues child labourers.

READ MORE

Study: Rural kids face more physical abuse

Only strict and speedy implementation of laws can check child abuse

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Special correspondent with Hindustan Times, covering education for the last seven years. Always learning.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Punjab minister Fauja Singh Sarari administered oath by governor Banwari Lal Purohit.

    Punjab cabinet expansion: Who are the 5 new ministers in Bhagwant Mann govt?

    Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday expanded his cabinet, with five Aam Aadmi Party MLAs being inducted in the government. It was the first cabinet expansion of the AAP government after it won the Assembly elections this year. Here's all you need to know about the new ministers.

  • Will look into grievances about Covid-19 claims: IRDA assures HC

    Will look into grievances about Covid-19 claims: IRDA assures HC

    Mumbai: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority on Monday, assured the Bombay high court (HC) that it will look into grievances about the purported irregularities committed by insurance companies in processing Covid-related insurance claims. The assurance came in response to a Public Interest Litigation, which sought a probe into the irregularities committed by insurance companies in processing Covid-19 claims and the inaction of the IRDA to curb them.

  • A view of Dhan Mill Compound at 100 Feet Road, Chhatarpur, in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times)

    Delhi: From a granary to creative business street

    For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.

  • Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. (Twitter/@AAPDelhi)

    Over a million got jobs on Rozgar Bazaar: Delhi govt

    According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.

  • Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai. (ANI)

    Govt to urge Centre to reduce tax for SUP options: Delhi minister

    “Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, July 04, 2022