20 October, 2020

Childhood's End

A much-needed primer on how to identify and handle a silent scourge

Childhood's End
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
EVERY month, sometimes more often, the local paper in my city carries a report - usually brief - about the rape of a "minor", as journalists put it. Some of these "minors" are as young as six months; some are not categorised as "minors" in the eyes of a reporter, being 14 or 15 years old. In a very high proportion of these cases, the perpetrator of the rape or sexual assault is either a member of the family or is closely affiliated to the family. And these, please note, are the cases that do make it to the papers: not the ones that are not picked up by the family, not the ones that are hushed up, not the ones where the children are not believed or dismissed.

It does not take a report or a book to make it clear that child sexual abuse is a silent scourge in India, all it takes is for us to read the papers every day. And yet few Indians and fewer Indian families are willing to admit that this might have affected - perhaps is affecting, as you read this - someone close to them.

Pinki Virani's impassioned, hard-hitting book does not intend to allow even one...

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