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Friday, January 21 2022

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Sexual abuse: In search of equality for men

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was passed by the Parliament in the year 2012 with the motive of eradicating the sexual abuse against children. With same motive, National Anti Child Abuse too is celebrated on November 19. But tragically speaking, Child abuse or sexual abuse has continued to remain and retained only as an assault against women or girl child.

As per the study by David Finkelhor, 1 in 5 girls are victims to child sexual abuse and 1 among 20 boys too are the victim of the abuse. But sadly, sexual harassment against men has been historically ignored.

IPC Sec. 375 has failed in protecting the male victims as its focus was only on Peno-Vaginal victims. And the IPC 354 stated the punishment to the one who assault or force women intending to outrage her modesty. Here, the modesty of a male child is not at all taken into consideration. If these are certain legal errors, Socio–Psychological understanding of rape or sexual harassment is prejudiced only to women.

National Anti Child Abuse day when celebrated to give awareness to children, the target audience most of the time will be only women. The orientation of Good touch and Bad touch is restricted only to a girl child while one forgets and ignores the minority community (Men/Boys) being busy facilitating the major victims.

A piece of write-up in a Kannada daily written by a budding journalist Indudhar Haleyangady read:

ಅಂದು ಇಡೀ ದಿನ ಕಾದದ್ದೇ ಬಂತು. ಈಗ ವಿಶ್ ಮಾಡಬಹುದು, ಆಗ ವಿಶ್ ಮಾಡುವರು. ರಾತ್ರಿ ಸರ್‌ಪ್ರೈಸ್ ಸಿಗಬಹುದು. ಕನಿಷ್ಟ ಒಬ್ರಿಂದ ವಿಶ್ ಬರಬಹುದು. ಯಾರಾದ್ರೂ ಗಿಫ್ಟ್ ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಹಾಕಿರಬಹುದು, ಮರುದಿನ ಅದು ತಲುಪಬಹುದು. ಎಲ್ಲಾದರೂ ಗ್ರ್ಯಾಂಡ್ ಆಗಿ ಆಚರಣೆ ನಡೆಯಬಹುದು….  ಹೀಗೆ ಇಟ್ಟ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆ ಒಂದಾ ಎರಡಾ, ಸಾವ್ ಇವರ್ದು, ಎಲ್ಲಾ ನಿರೀಕ್ಷೆಗಳು ಠುಸ್ ಆದವು ಮಾರ್ರೆ, ಕರ್ಮ. ನಮ್ದೇ ಕಾಲೇಜಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮಹಿಳಾ ದಿನಾಚರಣೆ 5 ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಡಿಪಾರ್ಟ್‌ಮೆಂಟ್ ನವರು ಪ್ರೋಗ್ರಾಂ ಮಾಡಿದ್ರು. ಆದ್ರೆ ಇದ್ಕೆ, ಊಹೂಂ…. ಒಬ್ರದ್ದೂ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಯಾರೊಬ್ಬರಿಗೂ ಮನಸಿಲ್ಲ, ಪುರುಷರು ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಎಲ್ರಿಗೂ ಅಸಡ್ಡೆ. ಅವರಿಗ್ಯಾಕೆ ದಿನ ಅಂತ ಟೀಕೆ ಬೇರೆ. ಹೀಗಿರುವಾಗ ಪುರುಷರ ದಿನ, ಅದ್ರ ಆಚರಣೆ ಏನಕ್ಕೆ ಕರ್ಮ. ಮಹಿಳೆಯರನ್ನು ಮಾತ್ರ ಆರಾಧಿಸಿ, ಅಟ್ಟಕ್ಕೇರಿಸಿ. ಟಾಟಾ, ಬಾಯ್
meaning..
That day, I waited until night thinking, I might get a wish now, I might get it a bit later and so on. Expected at least one or two to post a gift. Dreamt of a grand celebration on the coming day…. But all expectations were futile. In our own college 5 different departments organised women’s day celebrations. But for this, no single soul. No one has a will, we men have become a matter of negligence to everyone, Along with that criticism seeking ‘Why do they want a special day’ Fine worship only women, make them climb the ladder. Tata Bye.

Somewhere, the genuinity of the satirical piece of content cannot be denied. Here the writer uses humour in how a section of society is being sidelined in the name of availing equality to the other. We deny to accept and analyse that a man can be a victim of domestic violence too.

POCSO Act in 2012 facilitated gender neutral provision and stands as a strength to all the child victims. This can be stated as a progressive realisation measure. But only a legal change will not lead to a societal change. There is a need for the people to consider man as a human who possesses all the feelings and emotions. And that an assault on him too is a matter of suppression of dignity and individuality.

Image by Layers 

Sumayya Parveen A.

Sumayya is a Journalism, Eng. Literature and History Graduate & IAS Aspirant. She is also a budding writer and poetess.

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