Pakistan witnesses rise in Child abuse, issue goes unnoticed in crisis

A non-governmental organization functioning in Pakistan to prevent sexual abuse of children has shared the statistics of the increase in child abuse. The reports of the NGO have recorded an increase in the number of abuse cases in the country.

A non-governmental organization functioning in Pakistan to prevent sexual abuse of children has shared the statistics of the increase in child abuse. The reports of the NGO have recorded an increase in the number of abuse cases in the country.

While the government is currently struggling with several other issues, including economic hardship and inflation, they have taken the focus away from the children. The NGO, Sahil, has claimed that in the last years, incidents of sexual abuse have been taking an upward turn. 33 per cent more children suffered abuse in 2022.

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Most of the children who were victims of sexual in the age of 9 to 13 years were girls. In 2022, 4253 children suffered sexual and other forms of violence across Pakistan. The statistics suggest that almost the country registers 12 cases a day.

The experts believe that most children who are victims of sexual abuse fall under the ages of 6 and 15 years. The reports also suggest that in most cases, the perpetrators of sexual abuse are known people and relatives. Following this, it is worth a mention that children who undergo abuse are likely to develop mental health issues.

The abuse adversely affects the children, and they develop issues like anxiety, depression and loss of self-respect. The people and medical professions of Pakistan do not give importance to the problems associated with mental health. These are some of the healthcare issues that do not receive enough attention.

The issue of Child abuse has taken a turn for the worst since the advent of social media. Social media has become a platform for circulating pornographic photos of children. Meanwhile, FIA, the institution responsible for addressing these crimes, recorded more than two million cases of child exploitation imagery uploaded onto the internet in Pakistan.

While the cases of these crimes are reported low, the Human Rights Association of Pakistan believes that the people are not reporting the true extent of the crimes. According to them, this is because of two reasons:

i) social stigma attached to these incidents; ii) the atrocious behaviour of the police with the people who reported these incidents promptly.

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