Child sexual abuse cases surge in 2018: report

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ISLAMABAD: A total of 2,322 child abuse cases were reported across Pakistan in the first six months of 2018, a 32 per cent jump as compared to the first half of 2017, according to a report by NGO working on protection of children against violence.
The ‘Cruel Numbers Report’ having data from January to June 2018 has been compiled the NGO Sahil based on the news stories in the main newspapers all over Pakistan.
The report shows that a total of 2,322 child abuse cases were reported by newspapers in all four provinces, as well as Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. In comparison, 1,764 such incidents were reported from January to June 2017.
It means more than 12 children were abused every day during the January to June period of this year. The six-month data shows that 1,298 (56 per cent) of the victims were girls and 1,024 (44 per cent) were boys.
The NGO report shows that the major crime categories of the reported cases are abduction (542), sodomy (381), rape (360), missing children (236), attempt of rape (224), gang sodomy (167), attempt of sodomy (112), gang rape (92) and 53 cases of child marriages.
The report says that children in the age brackets of 6-10 and 11-15 are most vulnerable to abuse.
Provincial statistics show that 65 per cent cases were from Punjab, 25 per cent cases from Sindh, 3 per cent cases from Islamabad, 3 per cent cases from K-P, 2 per cent cases from Balochistan, 21 cases from Kashmir and 2 cases were reported from Gilgit-Baltistan.
Out of the total reported cases, 74 per cent were from rural areas and 26 per cent cases reported from urban areas. Report statistics also show that 89 per cent of cases were registered with the police, in 32 cases the police refused to register the case, 17 cases were unregistered with the police and the registration status of 196 cases were not mentioned.
Sahil senior Programme Officer Media Mamtaz Gohar said that 32 per cent increase in the number of child abuse cases in first six months was “highly upsetting”.