Saturday, 18 August 2007

End of repetitive trauma for victims of child abuse

It seems that the government has finally realized the need for setting up special interrogation chambers for victims of child sexual abuse, and sparing them the trauma of repeatedly giving an account of what happened to them, and facing cross-examination by the defense lawyer.

The whole article can be read here

The contents of the article are as follows:

Victims of child abuse need not undergo the trauma of repeated appearance in court in future, as the government is contemplating enforcing a comprehensive guideline for dealing with cases.

The draft guidelines prepared by a committee set up by the Women and Child Development Ministry also proposes that victims can only be examined in the presence of a known person.

"We hope that the guidelines provide a clear picture to states on how to deal with such cases. The guidelines are prepared in such a way that it addresses the sensitivity of the victim," Union Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chaudhury said.

The minister said there exist "ambiguities" in dealing with child abuse victims and hoped that the new guidelines would act as an yardstick for states.

"Among other things, the guidelines proposes that the victim should be called to the court only once for recording her statement and that should be an in-camera process," she said.

These victims sometimes have to go to court more than 50 times and they are "forced to relive the trauma all the time ... We thought of ending it and came out with these draft guidelines", Chaudhury said.

Separate instructions will also be issued to schools to deal with such cases and the precaution to be taken to avoid such incidents, she added.

The ministry's decision to frame guidelines for dealing with child abuse comes in the wake of a case of a teacher allegedly sodomising a student for over an year in the capital.