Family figures as chief offender in abuse cases

The majority of the country’s abused children have been victimised by family members, relatives or known persons, according to a survey of child abuse cases pending before the High Court.

A total of 1,255 child abuse cases were surveyed, and the crimes included rape (611 cases), grave sexual abuse (494), and cruelty (20).

Of the cases involving family members or relatives, 89 related to a father, 14 to a stepfather, five to a grandfather, and 140 to other relatives. Of the cases involving known persons, 124 related to a boyfriend, 51 to a neighbour, 12 to a teacher, and 295 to other known persons. In 386 cases, the abuse came from a complete stranger.

The majority of the abused children, 878, were between 10 and 16 years, while some 200 child victims were 10 years and under. Close to 4,200 cases of child abuse are pending in the High Courts around the country.

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