The frustration and agitation people are feeling at home – another way this is coming out is child pornography.
The nation is at a standstill – families are huddled indoors, schools are shut and anxiety and frustration levels are at peak.
Home is not always a safe space, and post reports of spikes in domestic violence helplines, comes more sobering news: The Childline India helpline received 50 percent more calls than usual during the first 11 days of lockdown.
FIT spoke to Vikas Puthran of Childline India Foundation (CIF):
In the 10 days of the lockdown – between 20 and 31 March, we saw a 50% increase from the typical period – normally would receive two lakh calls but this time we received around three lakh. From these, we conducted 4800 interventions where we physically went to the child in need. Out of this, only 30 per cent were relating to protection from abuse (about 1400 cases). In a year, generally, we get about 9 million calls.
Earlier, a media report has claimed that Childline had received 92,000 calls related to abuse. Chitrakala Acharya, Head of Programmes at CIF, clarified that the 92000 number shared covered calls for child protection issues from begging to sexual abuse. “It was misinterpreted as mentioned in the press brief.”
Despite the glitch in numbers, there is a grave need to investigate what happens to child abuse rates in India’s lockdown and if we are doing enough to protect child rights in this tough, new situation?
Change.org has a petition asking authorities to publicize the Child Helpline Number on television and cartoon channels so that children know where to get help.
Source : FIT – The Quint