In 2015, the Ministry of Home Affairs set up a corpus of Rs 200 crore to streamline compensatory schemes offered by the states to victims of rape, sexual abuse and acid attacks.
However since there was a lacuna in the manner in which these funds were being disbursed, the Women and Child Development Minister, Maneka Gandhi, issued a statement asking all States and Union Territories to streamline their processes.
A report in the Deccan Chronicle stated, “The male child, who is the most neglected victim of child sexual abuse, is being ignored for the award of compensation and needs to be included.”
According to the New Indian Express, “The minister has urged the states/UTs to issue necessary directions to the departments concerned to take necessary steps for including male child victims of sexual abuse in the Victim Compensation Scheme/Fund.”
POSCO or Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act is gender neutral and was passed to safeguard the interests of both boys and girls.
The government has been working on improving and strengthening the laws relating to children.
In another proposed move, which is yet to get approval from the centre, it has been recommended that any person who was sexually assaulted as a child, be allowed to report the incident until they turn 25 years of age.
While this is still a recommendation on paper, if approved, it could help many of those who were victims of abuse in their childhood, but chose to remain silent for various reasons.
You can read all about it here.
In another article of relevance to the topic, we spoke to Ashwini N V, a psychologist and the founder of the Muktha Foundation based in Bengaluru, who helped us with identifying some of the signs that a child may display if they have been or are victims of abuse.
You can read that here.
Acknowledging that male children are also victims of abuse and ensuring that they also fall under the ambit of compensation is a step in the right direction.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)