It’s essential to talk about child abuse and raise awareness. But we can also prevent it (child abuse) by not letting it be a secret. Child abuse is a taboo in Pakistan, most of the educated people hesitate to discuss this matter. Owing to which culprits attack children without being afraid of their fate. There is nothing more brutal and shameful than the abuse, manipulation, and maltreatment of the infants of our society. Given this, our country’s rules and resources need to show the seriousness of these dreadful and horrible crimes. 

In Pakistan, child abuse is growing like a cancer day by day. According to an NGO SAHIL, 11 cases of child abuse are reported in Pakistan every day. Recently, the entire nation remained shocked and condemned the brutal rape and killing of Zainab. Protests erupted, public condemned the incident vehemently and demanded strict punishment for the perpetrator. Supreme Court took notice of the case and the army chief also expressed grief over the matter. But the point is: whether we made any strategy for preventing such crimes in future? Definitely, the answer is a big, no! If there had been any strategy then the same kind of abominable crimes would not have been repeated. Protests, condemnation, taking notice of the incidents are the short-term solution. As a short-term solution, the particular criminal can be brought to justice but crime rate will not be reduced. 

Suspending a few police officers or transferring them is just a political game, in order to satisfy the public that government is taking action on the crimes. It will never bring any kind of improvement in our system. Moreover, only our protests and condemnations cannot change the system but our wise decisions can do so. 

In many countries, there is content in the state education syllabus about child protection. They teach children what sexual abuse is and how to keep themselves safe from the abuse. It is imperative to include lessons about sex education and self-protection in the syllabus in Pakistan. Through the help of lessons, children will get awareness on how to react to any unpleasant situation. 

Besides this, parents are responsible to teach their children and make them aware of child abuse . In our society, parents don’t talk about this matter frankly with the children. There is a major pitfall and abusers take advantage of this point. According to a survey, 90% children get abused in or outside the home by their relatives or whom they know. That’s why it is important to make children aware of child abuse

Furthermore, the police department in Pakistan has no capability to handle such child abuse cases. There are several flaws in the police system, which need to be detected for ensuring the effectiveness of the police. Crimes can only be reduced when the police department will be given advanced resources, equipment, and training. Importantly, police should be depoliticized and must be given free hand to act against criminals irrespective of any discrimination. Moreover, the police and the government need to implement laws with true spirit against child abuse to ensure the protection of children. Child abuse perpetrators must be punished strictly in order to discourage this kind of heinous and abominable cases. 

RIAZ AHMED RUSTAMANI,  

Dadu, January 17.