Child abuse rampant in Idukki

July 18, 2013 12:00 am | Updated 05:10 am IST - KATTAPPANA:

Alcoholism, marital discord among the factors

The torture of five-year-old Shafiq by his father and stepmother would not have come to public attention had the St. John’s Hospital authorities not informed Childline about the incident.

Shafiq’s is not an isolated case in the district. Records available with the Childline office here show that cases of child abuse and child sexual abuse are rampant among economically backward sections in the district. The main reasons for the increasing violence against children are alcoholism and family problems. Childline started an office here two years ago, with sub-offices at Kumily and Munnar. Childline team member Tessy George said cases of child abuse were reported a lot from the lower income group and among families in the estate areas.

In most cases, the children suffered at the hands of step-parents, she said.

Ms. George said that since awareness campaigns on child abuse had been held for ASHA workers, anganwadi teachers, and hospital staff, the number of such cases being reported with Childline had increased. Still, many people were reluctant to provide information on child abuse and domestic violence, which badly affected the life of the children.

On May 5 at Rajakkad, a man suffering from mental illness tried to kill his seven-day-old child. On December 11, 2012, a child was severely beaten up by his father at Cheruthoni. And on June 6, 2012, a two-and-a-half-year-old child was kicked and severely beaten by his drunk father at Munnar.

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