More collaborative child response units favoured

‘Paperwork and lack of coordination are delaying project’

There is a need to set up more Collaborative Child Response Units (CCRUs) in the State, especially in the wake of the increasing number of child sexual abuse cases. However, a major impediment is the lack of coordination between the departments of Women and Child Welfare and Health and Family Welfare, said Shaibya Saldanha of Enfold Trust here on Tuesday.

Addressing presspersons at the CCRU in Baptist Hospital, Dr. Saldanha said that the concept of CCRU had taken off in only two city hospitals — Baptist and M.S. Ramaiah.


“Although we have submitted a proposal and have had several rounds of discussions with officials from the Health and Family Welfare and Women and Child Welfare departments to come up with CCRUs at the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, Vani Vilas Hospital, St. John’s Hospital and Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health apart from other district hospitals, things are not moving,” she said.

“While officials from both the departments have agreed with the proposal, paperwork and lack of coordination are delaying the project,” she added.

Expressing concern that there is no legal set-up to handle cases of child sexual abuse, Dr. Saldanha said: “We have been working in this field for the past 10 years and have seen child sexual abuse in one form or the other increasing over the days. The law framed for protection of children from any form of abuse is yet to become an Act.”

Long-term effects

Shekar Seshadri, Professor at the Department of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry in NIMHANS, said that child sexual abuse had a long-term impact on the victim.

“Especially children who have been victims of sexual assault start losing confidence as they grow up and realise the fact (that they had been subjected to such abuse), Dr. Seshadri said.

“There will be deterioration in their performing ability affecting other aspects of life. It also affects the family too,” he added.

Sr. Dulcine Crasta, Coordinator, Department of Women and Child Development, Child Protection Unit, UNICEF, asserted the need for strengthening programmes to prevent child sexual abuse.

‘Only two hospitals in Bangalore have the facility’

‘Proposal submitted, several rounds of talks held’

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