India is home to the largest number of sexually abused children in the world, and on Friday, a top female news presenter revealed how she was sexually abused as a child. But there is general reluctance to talk about the topic. Now, an MP, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, is trying to change that, writes the BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi.
At an “open house” in Delhi on “Why we need to start talking about child sexual abuse and protect our children” earlier this week, Mr Chandrasekhar described the problem as an “epidemic”.
“Child sexual abuse has taken epidemic proportions in India. It is a problem that has been veiled by a culture of secrecy and denial and fostered by government apathy,” he said.
“Most people think that child sexual abuse is not as pervasive as I say, but the data proves otherwise.”
He is right – according to a 2007 study conducted by India’s ministry of women and child development, 53% of children surveyed said they had been subjected to some form of sexual abuse.