Majority of minors abused in Pak Punjab are boys
Lahore, July 14 (IANS) In a shocking revelation, the Pakistan Punjab interior department has recently shared that as the instances of sexual abuse of children rise, more boys than girls are becoming victims of such crimes, media reports said.
A report compiled on the numeration of such cases from January to June 15, 2023, revealed that in a span of less than six months, 1,390 cases of child abuse were reported in the province — a harrowing number in itself but made worse by further revelations, Geo News reported.
According to the report, around 69 per cent (959 cases) of the reported cases involved minor boys, while the remaining 31 per cent (431 cases) involved girls, the report said.
Yet more disturbing were revelations of the perpetrators. Moreover, the report stated that of those facing trials, 55 per cent were the victims’ neighbuors, 13 per cent were relatives, and 32 per cent were strangers.
Regarding the city-wise prevalence of child abuse cases, the report stated that most rape cases in Punjab were registered in Gujranwala, where 220 cases were reported.
Rawalpindi and Lahore reported the lowest rape cases at 69 and 89, respectively, Geo News reported.
Furthermore, Dera Ghazi Khan reported 199 incidents; Faisalabad 186; Multan 140; Bahawalpur 129; Sheikhupura 128; Sahiwal 127; and Sargodha 103.
According to the report, child sexual abuse is influenced by a range of social factors in Pakistan, and patriarchal norms, power imbalances, poverty, illiteracy and social inequalities contribute to the vulnerability of the children.
Former National Child Rights Commission (NCRC) chairperson Afshan Tehseen said the prevalence of child abuse was caused directly by poverty.
Several people from poor backgrounds have no qualms about sending their children to work, many for merely one meal a day, she said, adding that the more such vulnerable children are exposed, the more likely they are to be exploited.