THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As reports about child abuse within homes are surfacing on a daily basis, the number of disturbed calls to Nirbhaya helpline in Kerala has shown a steep increase when compared to earlier months. They have recently been referred to the departments concerned for follow-up.
Officials at the Nirbhaya helpline told TOI that “this month by now, we have received over 90 calls including those from children and women. While, we had received only about 40 phone calls last month and around 34 calls the earlier month, the increase in calls in may is surprising”. It includes child abuse cases which are known Childline and Nirbhaya cell in addition to cases on cyber crimes, national violence and abuse of girls and women. The distress calls from children at Nirbhaya helpline 1800-425-1400 are from across the state and includes mainly from Wayanad and Malappuram, the official said.
The spurt in calls this month on child misuse in violation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) is also reported from your child Protection units of the Social Justice section (SJD).
This month, we have received 16 instances on child abuse in violation of POCSO action as against about four cases last month. That includes children abuse circumstance from Kuttichal and misuse of twins from Poovar, both from the borders of state capital city today and it has been referred to the police, District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) told TOI. “The previous day, we received an instance from Puthoor relating to misuse of four children including three from the Thiruvananthapuram and one from Ernakulum, allegedly by a clergyman at a seminary in Puthoor near Kollam, very well he said.
When the DCPO and team experienced approached the parents for counseling of children at Puthoor, they had tried out to oppose it declaring that they have no case.
“Reason for increase in the amount of cases reported is a result of the awareness created with the POCSCO Act Section 21 which stipulates that it is mandatory to report in case someone relates to know about child abuse, if aware and not reported the worried is liable for criminal prosecution and if proved will face imprisonment from 6 months to 1 year, very well said DCPO KK Subair.
“The embrace number of cases reported is because people are more cautious now and are aware of POCSO Act. Concerned with the safety of children, many parents panic-struck and some are thinking two times about sending their children even for tuition classes. Additionally, it influences the liberty and regarding children, very well said PE Usha, overseer of Kerala Mahila Samakhya Society (KMSS) that operates eight Nirbhaya shelter homes in the state of hawaii.
In all, there are 11 Nirbhaya protection homes in the condition with about 600 children accommodated in these homes. These homes are still crisis-ridden due to postpone in release of by the government since the last 3 months and in ensuring proper facilities.