Rape and murder of 5-year-old girl highlights the plight of child sexual abuse

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Shocking news of a 5-year-old Odisha girl's rape and murder has again brought child sexual abuse in India back into focus

The New Year started on a sad note with a yet another shocking incident of child sexual abuse. A five-year-old girl was allegedly raped and strangulated to death on Sunday (January 3, 2016).

Her body was found dumped by the police near Jajpur-Keonjhar Road railway station at Panasia. The young girl was the daughter of daily wage worker and was reported by missing by the mother, says a New Indian Express report.

With the help of a few neighbours, the mother found her body near the tracks. The body was found without any clothes on and her private parts were bleeding profusely.

Child Sexual Abuse statistics in India

This shocker comes in the wake on increasing numbers of child sexual abuse in the country. According to the 2013 statistics shared by the National Crime Records Bureau, of all rapes, 12.5 percent of the total of 3,125 rape victims in India were minors.

Tips for parents

Parents must remember that child sexual abuse is a growing menace and if you notice your child acting aloof or fearful of people or shows poor academic results, it is an indication of sometime serious.

As the guardian, you must create an environment for the child to confide in you and always support them. This will ensure they share their abuse stories with you so you can take up the matter legally.

Indian law on child sexual abuse

You must be aware of some of the laws that list child sexual abuse and the punishment thereafter.

  • As per Section 376A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (2013), if the sexual assault inflicts an injury which leads to death or causes the victim to be in a vegetative state, then the convicted rapist must be sentenced with rigorous imprisonment of at least 20 years. In addition, he can also be given death penalty or life imprisonment (remainder of the natural life).
  • In the case of a ‘gang rape,’ the same sentence should be applicable. The convicted rapists are also required to pay compensation to the victim. This will include the medical expenses and rehabilitation of the victim.
  • For most of the extreme rape cases, a death penalty is specified.
  • The 2013 law has also increased the age of consent from 16 years to 18 years. Which means that any sexual activity with anybody less than age of 18, irrespective of consent, is be tried for rape.

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