More than 89 per cent Delhiites feel incest and child sexual abuse are “common and part of everyday lives,” according to a survey by Rahi Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO working towards welfare of child
More than 89 per cent Delhiites feel incest and child sexual abuse are “common and part of everyday lives,” according to a survey by Rahi Foundation, a Delhi-based NGO working towards welfare of child sexual abuse survivors.
The survey conducted by child sexual abuse survivors and volunteers highlights the attitude of the average Delhiites towards sexual crimes against children. A huge percentage of city residents feel that society is not open to discussing such issues. However, Rahi executive director Anuja Gupta explains that acknowledgement of the issue is the way forward: “While the number is a disheartening one, it indicates that people are beginning to understand the issue and acknowledge the fact that it is very much real and happening around them. Earlier, people would not agree that it is an important issue.” The survey of more than 2,000 respondents in Delhi goes to show that only 18 per cent feel that only strangers abuse children. “This is a good sign. As per our survey, 82 per cent feel that it is family members and acquaintances who abuse children,” said Ms Gupta.
The data is only indicative of the mindset prevailing in the urban set-up, but Ms Gupta feels the numbers in rural areas would be much more appalling. “If hypothetically, we were to conduct a survey in rural India, people might not even acknowledge that child abuse exists and that it has an impact of the mind of a survivor. At least in urban areas, people are opening up. They understand that there needs to be a ‘collective effort’ by all stakeholders to deal with this phenomenon.” The first-of-its-kind survey was conducted by a few survivors of child sex abuse, who felt there is vacuum in understanding such issues.