Chennai: Eight-year-old Mario could never really comprehend the sexual advances of his 60-year-old tuition teacher until his mother discovered a bite mark on the kid’s neck. The teacher had molested him for more than a year and used all means to shut the boy’s mouth.
“He initially lured him with chocolates. When the kid started protesting, he threatened him with revealing one of his mistakes, which were known only to the teacher, wherein Suraj stole some cash from my purse,” said his mother. The family thrashed the paedophile teacher, but did not lodge a complaint, as it would draw attention from the society.
On a similar note, 10-year-old Siva’s thoughts were revolving around his school and demanding new video games from his parents until a cameraman sexually abused him. Had his father had a slightest clue about the photographer, he would not have left Siva alone at the studio to collect the photos.
The episode had taken away the life in the little boy and pushed him to depression. Though his family came to know about the incident from him, neither a complaint was lodged nor was Siva given a medical counselling.
Contrast to the stereotype, parents reveals stories of boys abused by women. In a shocking revelation, a 17-year-old college girl had used a 9-year-old D. Shanmugam (name changed) to satisfy her sexual needs. The boy had stopped visiting her house after a year, but the incident had left a negative mark on him about girls.
“I never mentioned this to anyone till I grew old as I thought it is a matter of shame. My perspective towards girls had changed and I never could date any girl till I visited a psychologist when I turned 24,” he told DC.
Though cases of sexual assault among little boys are escalating, it is a pity that 99 per cent of the cases remain untold. The majority of reported cases were the sexual harassment of young boys, in the label of ragging at educational institutions, said a high ranked police official.
According to psychologists, parents feel it embarrassing to talk about such incidents in the case of boys. “Most of the cases of abuse are witnessed among young kids aged between 10 and 13 as they are easily approachable, thus making it a safer option for the offenders,” said child psychologist, K. Venkataramani.
“Parents should allocate time to communicate with their children. Children should be dealt with carefully so that they share such sensitive issues with the family,” added Venkataramani, who also stressed on the need of sex education in schools.
Though Indian law penalises offenders under Prevention of Children from Sexual Harassment (POS CO) and The Criminal Law Act of 2013, advocates say that very minimal cases come to their notice. “While people talk about many such incidents, they would not come forward to complain. Close to ten cases of women harassment get to Mahila courts, but the percentage is none or less when it comes to boys,” said advocate Shobana Murthy.
The offender can be penalised from a minimum of two years to maximum of seven years depending on the degree of offense.
(With inputs from Aradhana Pallavi)
(Victims’ names changed on request)