CHILD Abuse in India : Navigating the ZONES of Silence

Friday, July 18, 2014: 8:54 AM
Room: Booth 64
Oral Presentation
Smita VERMA , Sociology, Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, India
A growing body of text have begun to furnish information and data on the widespread pervasiveness of  child abuse in India. The paradox is that the perpetuator or the offenders are often someone known to the child and more often someone from the extended family. Though in some  situations it is beyond their control, but  many times the family fails to protect  the child from sexual abuse given to the cultural tradition of  family being a 'private space' where no intercession of public into critiquing its members is implicit. Moreover social stigmas make it difficult to talk about  child incest in public. However, there is still a absence of in depth understanding and empirical evidence to support general observations because of the lack of the sensitivity to the issue  and the failure to acknowledge it in the first place. This paper assess the perception of child abuse among young college students  in the age group of 17-20. The focus of the paper is the in-depth case studies of  10 victims of child sexual abuse and incest .The purpose is not only to get quantitative data on the issue as understood by young girls but also get an insight into the manifold dimensions and meaning of abuse to the victims through  case studies which is mostly anecdotal. It reflects on the excessive influence of normative standards of families  also looks into the long term consequences of this in the lives of the victims.