Most POCSO victims blame poor home environment for plight
The total number of registered cases last year in the city was 391, while this year, 25 cases have been registered so far.
BENGALURU: It is mainly the adolescent and the post-adolescent female minors who turn out to be victims under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, who cite poor home environment and lack of parental understanding for them to enter into physical relationships by granting consent to their respective male partners.
A vast majority of victims under the POCSO Act are in the age-group of 12-17, and at least 70 per cent of them are seen to have got into physical relationships with adult men through shared consent, according to police.
The total number of registered cases last year in the city was 391, while this year, 25 cases have been registered so far. In about 60-70 per cent cases, the 12 to 17-year-olds involved share a mutual consent for intercourse.
“Although both individuals share a mutual consent, the case is still considered under POCSO Act if they (the victims) are below 18 years of age. The case is first investigated, medical tests conducted and required actions taken. A chargesheet is prepared against the boy, if found guilty,” said Girish S, DCP (Crime).
In most cases, children confess that their parents do not understand their relationships with their partners, which is the main reason they elope to begin “a new life”, and often end up as victims.
In one instance, a 17-year-old pre-university student eloped with her male partner who was 24 years old. On a complaint being filed, they were tracked down by the police and were found in Tumakuru. On being asked,the couple expressed their mutual consent to elope and enter into a physical relationship. First a missing case was filed, and then on medical examination, evidence of physical relationship was established, based on which a case under the POCSO Act was registered.
In another case, parents of a 17-year-old girl found out about her relationship when they realised she was one-and-a-half-month pregnant. The parents lodged a complaint against the boy, also a minor, who went to the same tuition classes as her. A case was filed against the boy after medical examinations.
Most minors in this age-group complained of bad family environment and unfavourable situations at home, which encourage them to elope. “These are very sensitive cases and we handle them with care. The girls are counselled according to their mental state. We also have cases wherein families have approached us before reaching out to the police,” said Rani Shetty, head of Parihar-Vanitha and makala Sahayavani Santwanta.
She also added that some cases are also referred to the Child Welfare Committee in the District Child Protection Unit for help.
Courtesy: The New Indian Express