Islamabad-Islamabad police have launched an awareness campaign, especially for parents, against child abuse and urged them to take care of their children in and around the house.

The police have advised the parents not to let children interact unnecessarily with strangers, beggars and others irrespective of their age so as to minimise the possibility of the child falling in the hands of the ill-minded people. The campaign material has urged the children to speak out to school teacher or parents in case someone resorts to loose talk with them.

The parents have been advised not to let their children go out alone, especially during summer afternoon and winter evenings. “They should accompany some elder of the family with them while going out and never move to a deserted house, street or an agriculture field. If someone tries to take children along forcibly, they should raise noise to grab attention of the passersby,” urged the police.

They have also advised the children not to accept any eatables from a stranger. “The children must not allow anyone to touch their private body parts, hug and sit in the lap of others,” the police department urged the children. The parents have further been advised to educate their children on how they can protect themselves from the possible culprits.

A Senate panel was told in January 2019 that over 500 child sexual abuse cases surfaced in Islamabad in the last five years. The police told the Senate committee that 300 cases of child sexual abuse were registered in Islamabad over the last five years, while another 260 cases went unregistered. Cases of child abuse have been on the rise in the country. A report compiled by NGO Sahil last year reveals that more than 12 children are abused every day. Instances of child abuse rose 32 per cent in the first six months of 2018 compared to the corresponding period in 2017, it said.

The major crime categories of child abuse include abduction, missing children, rape, sodomy, attempt of rape, gang sodomy, and cases of child marriage.

According to the reports, in the age bracket of 6-10 years and 11-15 years, boys were more vulnerable to child sexual abuse as compared to girls.Whereas, in the age bracket 0-5 years and 16-18 years, more girls were found vulnerable to child sexual abuse.

On the direction of Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court Justice Athar Minallah, the Islamabad Police have issued Standard Operating Procedure to investigate the cases of sexual abuse against children. The Standard Operating Procedure has been issued on the directions of Inspector General of Police (Islamabad) Muhammad Aamir Zulfiqar while Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) Waqaruddin Syed would supervise the entire investigation process into such cases and prompt action would be ensured against the perpetrators of this shameful act.