CHENNAI: The brutal rape and murder of a schoolgirl in Vellore might have come as shocker. Here is even more shocking news: Vellore topped in the number of child rape cases in the State. The district has recorded a total of 41 cases of child rape up to October this year. This is higher than the total of 35 child rape cases reported in all seven major cities in the State. This is way beyond the number of cases recorded in Chennai, where just 11 cases were reported.
Interestingly, while Chennai topped the list in adult rapes with a total of 54 reported cases, just 11 cases of adult rapes were reported in Vellore district.
Salem district stood second in the number of child rapes with 46 reported cases. Trichy district recorded the least with just a single case of child rape.
Another disturbing fact from the state is that statistics released by Tamil Nadu police reveal that children in Tamil Nadu have become more vulnerable for sexual assaults than women.
According to statistics released by the State Crime Records Bureau, 407 cases of adult rapes were reported in the State in 2014 up to October. However, shockingly the number of child rape cases booked by the police under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act is much higher at 467.
While police statistics are solely based on FIRs registered by the police, they can still be an indication of how children are becoming more vulnerable to sexual abuse than women.
“The cases of child abuse is much higher in economically poor families. In such families, both parents would be daily wage labourers and they would end working for extended hours. Therefore, they end up leaving children alone in houses, which is exploited by men, who in most cases would be neighbours or close relatives,” says a senior woman police officer, who had investigated several such cases.