Bhubaneswar: Minors are not at all safe in Odisha with increasing number of children falling prey to sexual abuse, according to the latest national data reported by the Centre.
In fact, Odisha has reported a rise of 1794% in child sexual abuse cases in the last 10 years. In 2019, the state had reported 1,648 cases. The figure was only 87 in 2009.
The cases registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act included rapes and other crimes against children.
Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani informed this to the Lok Sabha on Friday.
What Cops Say
On the other hand, police have denied in any laxity on their part. They attributed this exponential rise to more cases being reported. Unlike in the past, parents these days are not reluctant to lodge complaints of sexual abuse faced by their children, police added.
Even lawyers advise parents to immediately report to police if their children fall prey to sex abuse.
They also said exemplary punishment for the abusers will act as deterrent against such crimes.
Onus On Parents
According to social activists, most of the accused are found to be known to the child victims. They are either members of the same family, neighbours and other acquaintances.
Therefore, the parents should keep watch on their children and also teach them about preventive measures.
“Only a well-educated society can protect its children. Parents should also keep a watch on the movement and activities of their wards. They should teach the children the difference between right and wrong touch, appropriate and inappropriate behaviour,” social activist Tanuja Biswal was quoted as saying by The Times of India.