Ministry of Women and Child Development09-April, 2007 18:29 IST
Ministry of Women and Child Development releases a study on Child Abuse

Ministry of Women and Child Development released today a study on Child Abuse conducted with the help of UNICEF, Save the Child and a Delhi based NGO, PRAYAS.  Releasing the report, the Smt. Renuka Chowdhury, Minister for Women and Child Development said that the gravity of the situation demands that the issue of child abuse be placed on the national agenda. The Ministry on its part has taken measures such as the enabling legislation to establish the National and State Commissions for Protection of Rights of the Child, the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, the draft Offences against Children Bill etc. These are a few important steps to ensure protection of children of the country. But clearly, this will not be enough, the government, civil society and communities need to complement each other and work towards creating a protective environment for children. The momentum gained needs to enhance further discussion on the issue amongst all stakeholders and be translated into a movement to ensure protection of children of this country.


The Minister said that the aim of the study was to develop a dependable and comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon of child abuse, with a view to facilitate the formulation of appropriate policies and programmes meant to effectively curb and control the problem of child abuse in India.  The National Study on Child abuse is one of the largest empirical in country studies of its kind in the world.  This study also complements the UN Secretary General’s Global study on violence against Children, 2006.


The initiative of the Ministry to conduct this study was supported by UNICEF and Save the Children.  A Delhi based NGO, Prayas was contracted to design and conduct the research and submit a preliminary report.  After the submission of the preliminary report, the MWCD appointed a core Committee to review the complete data, analyze the findings and produce the final report along with recommendations.


The study has provided revealing statistics on the extent and magnitude of various forms of child abuse – an area by and large unexplored.  The study has also thrown up data on variations among different age groups, gender variations, state variations and variations within evidence groups.  The findings will help to strengthen the understanding of all stakeholders including families, communities, civil society organizations and the state.




Major findings:


  1. Across different forms of abuse and across different evidence groups, the younger children (5-12 years of age) have reported higher levels of abuse than the other two age groups.
  2. Boys, as compared to girls, are equally at risk of abuse.
  3. Persons in trust and authority are major abusers.
  4. 70% of abused child respondents never reported the matter to anyone.


Physical abuse


  1. Two out of every three children are physically abused.
  2. Out of 69% children physically abused in 13 sample states, 54.68% were boys.
  3. Over 50% children in all the 13 sample states were being subjected to one or the other form of physical abuse.
  4. Out of those children physically abused in family situations, 88.6% were physically abused by parents.
  5. 65% of school going children reported facing corporal punishment i.e. two out of three children were victims of corporal punishment.
  6. the State of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi have almost consistently reported higher rates of abuse in all forms as compared to other states.
  7. most children did not report the matter to anyone.
  8. 50.2% children worked seven days a week.


Sexual abuse


  1. 53.22% children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse.
  2. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest percentage of sexual abuse among both boys and girls.
  3. 21.90% child respondents reported facing severe forms of sexual abuse and 50.76% other forms of sexual abuse.
  4. out of the child respondents, 5.69% reported being sexually assaulted.
  5. children in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest incidence of secual assault.
  6. children on street, children at work and children in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault.
  7. 50% abuses are persons known to the child or in a position of trust and responsibility.
  8. most children did not report the matter to anyone.


Emotional abuse and Girl child Neglect

  1.  Every second child reported facing emotional abuse
  2. Equal percentage of both girls and boys reported facing emotional abuse
  3. In 83% of the cases parents were the abusers
  4. 48.4% of girls wished they were boys


(Release ID :26737)