The Women and Child Development Ministry is working on bringing an amendment in the law to provide for male child sex abuse victim, an official said on Friday. “Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act has always strived to develop gender-neutral laws. But yes, we are working on bringing amendment for the male child victims of sexual abuse and it will be soon introduced in the act,” Women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava said. The step comes soon after Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi recently supported a petition on Change.org by film-maker-activist Insia Dariwala, who said, “male child sexual abuse is an ignored reality in India”.
Change.org stated that Maneka Gandhi, to whom the petition was addressed, had replied to the plea through “Decision Maker” response. “There shall be no tolerance of any form of sexual violence against children and all criminals will be dealt with severe action. My Ministry has always taken proactive steps to address different issues concerning child safety. Another much-neglected sphere of child sexual abuse is male survivors,” she said in a letter to Change.org.
“Child sexual abuse is gender neutral. Boys who are sexually abused as children spend a lifetime of silence because of the stigma and shame attached to male survivors speaking out. It is a serious problem and needs to be addressed,” she added.