Child abuse – a prevailing and fast-growing social evil that mentally disturbs the victim takes a variety of forms. This abuse can occur in physical, verbal forms and can leave a child in a state of distress and discomfort. The victim’s family is ought to live with social and mental constraints after the abuse happened.
Some 729 girls and 575 boys suffered sexual abuse of some kind, reported by Sahil, over the past six months and this means sending hundreds of families in dreadful circumstances.
Today the idea is not to talk about the ways to prevent child abuse but to think about the mindset. Do we have any collective forethought to prevent this social evil? Do we have sufficient political will to disregard the perpetrators?
The abuse of children is not bound to the illiterate and semi-literate people but does exist among the highly educated families as well. The idea of limiting a child’s movement is perhaps not workable because children don’t suffer the violence only when they move out of their place of living.
Abuse can happen to them inside the home, at the place of getting an education. The majority of the reported cases of child abuse in the recent past had the perpetrators some close relative of the child. Only 142 cases were those in which the perpetrators were strangers. As far as good parenting ideas are concerned, the idea is workable to some extent but not wholly because some cases appeared to be in the utter disregard to this very notion.
Children’s movement cannot be limited because no one can take care of the child every second of the day as one has to manage for the income for the family and children also do require to commute for education, amusement and to play. The idea is not good also because one must not imprison the child from the fear of being abused or harmed.
Discussion to the relevant laws, of course, is the matter of utmost concern but becomes secondary because here in the land of the pure the problem does not lie with the existence of the laws, but to their implementation.
Zainab’s ordeal triggered the attention of power corridors and media alike and the uproar continued till the hanging of the culprit Imran Ali who was known to be a neighbor of the little child-girl. A new case seems to appear in the limelight by every passing day and it employs that state is not doing enough to prevent the incidences of child abuse.
Police, who to investigate the crime, consider taking action only when cases of child abuse get the limelight by social, digital or print media or due to public demonstration on roads most probably the victims’ families.
Ordeal remains acceptable also because those who know about it prefers to live by the criminal offense, not to confront it. The children, mostly girls, in the socio-economic set up like that of Pakistan are taught to remain calm and silent as a gesture of good personification if somehow they dare to disclose the abuse.
The question remains the same. Where we are heading as a society? Do we have any collective forethought to prevent this social evil? Do we have sufficient political will to disregard the perpetrators of child abuse?