Child rape leaves adult scars

 
Published: Sunday 15 November 1992

A SEXUALLY abused child is more vulnerable to vitimisation as an adult such torture in childhood, said Shodha Srinath, assistant professor at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences in Bangalore. Srinath was speaking at a seminar on child rape, organised in New Delhi by the National Commission on Women.

While data on child rape in India is insufficient, studies done in the West show that women who were sexually abused during childhood were 2.4 times more likely to be victims as adult, said Srinath, and added there was also evidence linking juvenile sexual abuse to prostitution and alcohol or drug abuse in adulthood.

The most effective way of minimising the impact of rape is to bring the child back to her normal routine at the outside. Efforts to shied her from the outside world either out of fear or because of the social stigma attached at term mental damage, Srinath pointed acute when the offender was known to the child.

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