Child Sexual Abuse in India

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Child sex abuse ( CSA) is a universal problem with painful long-term effects. CSA has many definition depends upon the country under study. This study meant to assess the types, effects, and issue related to CSA. The prevalence of CSA was found to in throughout the world. CSA is a major problem throughout the world with huge no. of victims. It also has various effects on the psychological, physical well being of victim. Hence strict measure should be taken or control and prevention of this hidden public problem.

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Child sex abuse is a universal problem with painful long-term effects. Child sex abuse which is also called child molestation is a form of child molestation in which an adult child uses for sexual stimulation. Child sexual abuse can occur in varieties of settings including home, school or work (as a child labor).

According to UNICEF child marriage is the one of the main form of CSA. UNICEF stated that child marriage “represent perhaps the most preventing form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls”.

Not only child marriage but activities like intercourse, attempted inter course, attempted intercourse, oral-genital contact, fondling of genitals directly or through clothing, exhibitionism or exposing children to adult sexual activity or pornography also forms CAS.


· Sexual activities

· Indecent exposure

· Child grooming

· Child pornography

Sexual activities: a term defining offenses in which adult used for purpose of sexual gratification. For example, rape.Indecent exposure: a  term defining offenses in which adult victimized as minor for advancement or profit. For example, prostituting a child or child trafficking.Child grooming: a term defining the social conduct of a potential child sex offender who seeks to make a minor more accepting of their advances, for example, in online chat room.


· Psychological effects: 

Child sex abuse can result in both short term and long term harm, including psychopathology in later life. Psychopathology effects like depression, anxiety, eating disorder, poor self-esteem, sleeping disturbance etc.Studies have been found that 51% to 79% of sexually abused children exhibit psychological symptoms.

· Physical effects: 

1. Injury: – child sex abuse causes major injury depending on the age and size of the force. It causes internal bleeding, damage to internal organs. In some cases it causes death.

2. Infection: – Child sexual abuse may cause infection and sexually transmitted diseases.

3. Neurological damage: – Child sexual abuse may cause deleterious on brain development.

Global scenario of the problems

According to WHO in 2002 approximately 73 million boys and 150 million girls under the age of 18 years was abused.Meta-analysis conducted in the year 2009 analyzed 65 studies in 22 countries and an “overall international figure”. The main findings of the study were:

1. An estimate 7.9% males and 19.7% females universally faced sexual abused before the age of 18 years.

2. Africa has highest rate of child sexual abuse (approximately 34.4%).

Another study conducted in 2009, the prevalence of child sex abuse was 5.6% among girls and 1.6% among boys. It was also reported that boys has been sexually abused at younger ages in comparison to girls.A study conducted in Mexico reported prevalence of child sex abuse to be 18.7% ( 58% in girls and 42% in boys).According to study conducted in U.S.A. in 2012 17 million children was sexually abused over the next 18 years. 47$ of children was sexually molester. 77% of child molesters are married

Indian scenario of the problem

In India child sex abuse is a major problem. Total 33,098 cases of sexual abuse in children were reported in the nation during the year 2011. In 2011 child sex abuse was increased by 24% in comparison to 2010. India has world’s largest no. of child sex abuse cases.It is estimated by the government that 40% of India’s children are susceptible to threats like being homeless, trafficking, drug abuse, forced labor and crime.

Another survey by UNICEF on demographical and health was conducted in India from 2005 to 2013 which reported that 10% of girls have experienced sexual violence when they were 10-14 years of age. 30% during 15-19 years of age.

A study was conducted in 2007 by Ministry of women and child development in India covering 13 states. The study reported that about 21% of the participants were exposed to extreme forms of sexual abuse.,57.3% were boys and 42.7% were girls was sexually abused, out of which 40% were 5–12 years of age. The data reported by the study on prevalence of various forms of sexual abuse are depicted in the table


This paper was meant to understanding the magnitude and problems related to child sex abuse. The problems of child sex abuse were found to be very high in India throughout the world. The major issue has been indentified that makes it difficult to estimate the exact numbers of victims. First of all the way abuse is defined plays an important role. Secondly, many cases were not reported by victims. Last different study reports the prevalence for different time periods. Child sex abuse problem is alarming. Hence, strict measure should be taken or control and prevention of this hidden public problem.


  1.  Study on Child Abuse: India 2007. India, Ministry of Women and Child development Government of India. 2007. [Last cited on 2014 Aug 09]. Available from: .
  2. India: UNICEF; 2010. [Last cited on 2014 Aug 09]. The legislative and Institutional framework for protection of children in India. Available from:
  4. Iravani MR. Child abuse in India. [Last cited on 2014 Oct 07];Asian social science. 2011 7:150–3.Available from:
  5.  Surekha K. Data shows upward trend in child sexual abuse. The New Indian Express. 2013. Jan 18, [Last cited on 2014 Aug 23]. Available from: 
  6. Breaking the silence. Child sexual abuse in India. USA, Humans rights watch. 2013. [Last cited on 2014 Aug 09]. Available from: 
  7. Ray A. 42% of Indian girls are sexually abused before 19: Unicef. The Times of India. 2014. Sep 12, [Last cited on 2014 Sep 12]. Available from:

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