Nation Crime 24 Jan 2017 Kerala: Plight of ab ...

Kerala: Plight of abused goes unchecked

Published Jan 24, 2017, 1:17 am IST
Updated Jan 24, 2017, 7:16 am IST
Representational image
 Representational image

KOZHIKODE: Many minor girls who reach shelter homes following sexual abuse have no other go but to be bear the burden. It will too late to abort and they end being mothers against their will. They are both victims and survivors of sexual abuse, perpetrators most often being very close kin. They are even denied the joy of motherhood as they have to surrender their children to the legal adoption centres of the government. This is the plight of Shabna, 17, (name changed), admitted to the labour ward of a hospital in southern Kerala on Monday. She is expecting a baby anytime now but the baby will be taken off by the legal adoption centre.

And she will go back to her shelter home, where she will languish, most probably, for years. According to officials, 32 girls, who live in the shelter homes in the state, were delivered of their babies in the last two years. Shabna is the latest. They find it embarrassing to return home to face the abusers and are stuck in shelter homes. They are orphaned without the possibility of rehabilitation. Even after the introduction of the fast track courts, many cases drag on, say officials. Cases from 2008 to 2012 are yet to be added under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. Currently there are 262 inmates in shelter homes of Mahila Samakhya Society and most of them belong to the SC/ST category.

Officials assume that the girls have no access to abortion as their pregnancy is known very late. Another major issue being faced by victims is compensation. Usually, when the compensation is not announced along with the verdict, their chances of getting it dwindle. Says Social Justice director TV Anupama: “The union home ministry has earmarked a major amount to be distributed as compensation to minor victims of sexual abuse. In the state, this is being handled by the Home department. A combined meeting of the two departments has been requested and we are hopeful that the issue would be sorted out soon”.

Location: India, Kerala


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