THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the state that is yet to recover from the shock of kids being fatally attacked by their immediate relatives, there is one more distressing news awaiting. Around 3,168 minors were subjected to sexual abuse in the state during 2018. A departmental data accessed by Express from the Police Department revealed 3,168 children were sexually abused last year, almost 17 per cent more than the number of children abused in 2017. The numbers in this regard for the year 2017 stood at 2,690.
The police data is based on the number of cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Malappuram, which was once notoriously known for conducting child marriages, witnessed the most number of POCSO cases at 411. This is double the figures in 2017. In 2017, Malappuram had witnessed 219 POCSO cases.
Thiruvananthapuram district had the second most number of cases registered for child sexual abuse. Pooled together, Thiruvananthapuram city and Thiruvananthapuram rural witnessed 385 cases, a marginal increase from 361 cases in 2017.
Kannur saw a spike in POCSO cases as 243 cases were registered last year compared to 143 in 2017. In six police districts, the number of cases found a decline compared to 2017. Of this, Idukki fared well the most as the number of cases fell from 161 to 128.
A senior cop dealing with cases connected to atrocities towards children said the rise in numbers is a positive sign as far as policing is concerned as more and more victims are coming forward to register their complaints.
“The number of cases is on the rise because people are more aware of what to do if a crime is committed against their kids. The Police Department is proactive while dealing with cases of abuse of children. However, the numbers should not mislead forcing people to think the state is a bad place for children. It’s not. Because we have got a robust policing mechanism these cases are coming to the fore,” he said.