ISLAMABAD - Child sexual abuse cases are often hidden due to various reasons, as sadly among the vast number of unreported cases the abhorrent instances are far worse; yet shockingly 237 cases were recorded and registered in southern Punjab region alone during the last year. It is believed that the actual figures could be much higher than the reported cases as many such incidents go unreported due to non-availability of evidence, involvement of relatives, and other related matters. As many as 237 heinous cases of male child abuse including molestation, group molestation, attempted molestation were reported during 2009. While these are just reported and registered cases of Southern Punjab, revealed an organization named 'Pakistan Human Development Foundation (PHDF). According to the available data collected from different sources in different areas of Southern Punjab, including Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Khanewal, Layyah, Lodhran, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Pak Pattan, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Sahiwal, Vehari and others. It would not be out of place to mention here that there are laws such as Pakistan Penal Code 1860 and Hudoood Ordinance 1979, Sindh Children Act (SSA) and Punjab Children Ordinance 1981 (PCO), but the cases of child abuse are on the rise. The most recent findings of a report entitled 'A fact sheet on (Male) Child Sexual Abuse in Southern Punjab 2009, disclosed that maximum number of cases including molestation, group molestation, attempted molestation were reported in the month of August 2009 with 20 cases. Quantitative data showed six cases in January, 12 cases in February, 21 cases in March, 21 cases in April, 20 cases in May, 12 cases in June, 28 cases in July, 29 cases in August, 23 cases in September, 21 cases in October, 20 cases November and 24 cases in December. It is believed that sexual abuse of children is cloaked in silence and is often pushed into the deep and dark corners of homes and minds, left unattended and untreated. But the psychologists in this regard viewed that those who suffer through it, carry scars throughout their lives. It is also a phenomenon that the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened, and the legal procedure for validating an episode is difficult. 'Pakistan Human Development Foundation (PHDF) also expressed that though cases of child sexual abuse in Southern Punjab is alarming yet unfortunately not enough efforts are being made for accountability of the culprits. According to the reported cases by PHDF, in one such case Muhammad Saleem resident of Muzaffargarh had given an application in the Police Station that his nine-year son Shahbaz was sexually abused and the accused managed to flee from the spot. In another case, one Abdul Majid hailing from Rahim Yar Khan had given an application in the concerned Police Station that the accused and his allies sexually abused him when he was returning from school and the accused are at large. Tariq Faiz, resident of Layyah, said that an attempt of molestation was made on his six-year old son while on hearing the voice of the childs weeping the unidentified accused managed to flee from the spot. It may be mentioned here that there are many other unreported such obnoxious instances yet it is also appalling that when sexual abuse occurs the child victim may be the only witness and the childs statement may be the only evidence. Unfortunately, in such cases the central issue sometimes becomes whether the childs statements can be trusted or not.