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1 in every 2 children, victim of sexual abuse: Survey

New Delhi: A survey participated in by more than 45,000 children in the 12- 18 age group, across 26 states in the country, revealed that one in every two children is a victim of child sexual abuse.

The survey conducted by humanitarian aid organisation World Vision India with a sample of 45,844 respondents also revealed that one in every five do not feel safe because of the fear of being sexually abused.

It also said that one in four families do not come forward to report child abuse.

“Despite one in every two children being a victim of child sexual abuse, there continues to be a huge silence. The magnitude of sexual violence against children is unknown,” World Vision India National Director Cherian Thomas said here while launching a campaign to end child sexual abuse and exploitation by 2021.

The “It Takes the World to End Violence against Children” campaign targets 10 million children across 25 states and one union territory.

“The campaign works through our area programmes that deal with different issues of health care typically — malnutrition and early illness, education, child rights and protection and the improvement of resilience in communities,” Thomas told IANS.

“The area programmes are based in 186 districts that we operate in,” he added.

Thomas said that the campaign will draw people from all walks of life to ensure a safe environment for children.

Children are given training in different aspects, where they are taught about the good touch and the bad touch and various other relevant aspects, he said.

“With 98 per cent of rapes being committed by people known to the children, I feel it is time that we all come under one banner and umbrella to focus our work around child protection,” he said.

“We are going to work along with other civil society organisations, and child rights organisations. People are sensitized over the issue if economic resilience as most of these abuse cases are a result of inadequate economic resilience in communities,” he explained.

–IANS