Boys are more vulnerable to sexual abuse than girls in Punjab, according to a Punjab Home Department report based on the record from January to June 15, 2023.
“The percentage of sexual abuse among boys was 69% while the percentage of girls was 31%,” the data showed. Most of the cases were registered in Gujranwala while Rawalpindi and Lahore had the least number of cases among the 10 districts.
The statistics highlight the need for child protection in the most populated province of the country. It also shows the importance of awareness among children and better ways to protect them.
Sexual abuse is the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions, perpetrated by aid workers against the children and families they serve, according to the United Nations.
“The percentage of sexual abuse among boys was 69% while the percentage of girls was 31%,” showed the Punjab government report. Most of the cases were registered in Gujranwala.
The report highlighted that there were also cases of child abuse that go unreported, adding that cases were not registered “due to fear and social problems”.
It further described affected parents’ unwillingness to conduct medical treatment of children as an “obstacle” in the registration of cases. Such crimes prompt children to remain in isolation, it read.
At least 4,503 cases of child abuse were reported in 10 months of 2022 in Punjab, as per the figures from a research report by Sustainable Social Development Organisation.
The number of cases reminds the nation of Zainab Ansari’s gruesome ordeal. The six-year-old was raped and murdered in January 2018. The culprit, Imran Ali, was hanged to death in October 2018. Two years later, the government enacted the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act in March 2020.