Medical College Students sensitized on Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is a worldwide problem and India is becoming capital of this crime with day to day rising incidences of sexual assault on children. The doctors and medical students must be aware of the law of the land to deal with child victims of sexual crimes.
“The sexual abuse in any form during childhood has a long lasting impact on human mind and the medical professionals should have a sympathetic approach for the victims and attend them without any delay”, said Dr BS Sidhu Principal Government Medical College Patiala during a seminar on “Child Sexual Abuse, a Cause of Concern” organized by Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology for the medical students to make them aware of the problem and the related law.
He said the proposal to set up one stop centre (OSC) in Rajindra Hospital has already been sent to the state Government where it will be possible to examine and provide medical, medicolegal, legal and other relevant services to the victims under one roof to save them from any mental harassment.
Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology President Dr DS Bhullar said the steady rise in sexual crimes against children must be a cause of concern for the medical professionals. The long lasting physical, moral and mental impact of the crimes during childhood can be seen in old age in such victims as the victim cannot come out of the trauma even throughout life. The survey conducted by Women and Child Development Department Government of India indicates that more than 53 percent children in the survey were affected with sexual excesses during childhood.
According to Prevention of Children against Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) of 2012, it is the legal duty of every citizen including the medical professionals to report occurrence of such crime to the appropriate authorities and failure to report is punishable with imprisonment of 6 months and with fine under law, said Bhullar. More than 250 medical students including faculty of forensic medicine attended the programme.