New Delhi: Terming child sexual abuse as an "epidemic", Delhi High Court has said that not only parents, but even trial courts dealing with such cases, should create an atmosphere where the victims can depose truthfully against "sexual perpetrators".
"Children who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the sexual perpetrators do not only suffer from physical pain but are also subjected to mental and emotional trauma. The results of child sex abuse are severe and far reaching," Justice P S Teji said.
"Child sexual abuse is one of the most pervasive social problems faced by our society. Its impact is profound because of the sheer frequency with which it occurs and because of the trauma brought to the lives of the children who have experienced this crime. Child sexual abuse is an epidemic," the court observed.
The judge's observations came as he dismissed a plea of an accused who sought quashing of an FIR lodged against him by a 12-year-old boy whom he had allegedly sexually abused three years ago.
Refusing to quash the FIR, the court said "apparently, the petitioner (accused) is using all possible weapons to pressurise and to win over the victim i.E. The minor, to tamper with the evidence and to hamper the trial."
Observing that often the child victims and witnesses were compelled by circumstances not to bring true facts before the court, the judge said the trial court should "ensure the examination of the child witness by giving due protection to him and bringing the child out of the pressure".
"The parents of such victims have even a greater role to play in helping and aiding the child in overcoming the trauma", it said.
According to the minor's complaint, he was lured by the accused on the pretext of giving him a job of cleaning vehicles for which he would be paid Rs 4,000 per month.