An analysis of 100 child rape cases reported in Delhi in 2017-18 has revealed that only 15% of the victims received financial assistance under the victim compensation scheme (VCS).
The sexual abuse survivors, including 94 girls and six boys, were interviewed by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR).
The analysis, undertaken by the commission along with the Human Development Society, also found that although VCS was first notified in Delhi in February 2012 and subsequently in December 2016, the benefit of the scheme has not yet reached the target population.
According to the VCS currently in place in Delhi, the minimum compensation for a victim of rape or gangrape is Rs 3 lakh, while the upper limit is Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh respectively.
The study found that all victims who have received compensation are girls. The major reason mentioned in the report, published early this month, was that only 40% of parents and caregivers are aware of the existence of the compensation scheme for rehabilitation of victims.
“In other words, majority of the victims virtually have no scope of receiving compensation due to their ignorance about VCS,” the study said, adding that “out of 15 victims who have received compensation, 68% or 10 victims have been paid money in the range of Rs 30,001 to Rs 50,000. While 20% children have received Rs 30,000 or less, compensation money of only one child is in the category of above Rs 50,000”.
As per data provided by police, in 2017-18, 932 cases were registered by the Delhi Police under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. It said that out of 932 cases, 849 involved minor girls and 83 involved minor boys.
Over entitlement of legal aid to the victims, the study found that “out of victims who have received or are receiving legal aid, 77% expressed satisfaction with the services. In other words, the services provided under legal aid are helping majority of victims in the right direction”.
“There are, however, 32% victims in the total sample who are presently in need of legal services. Out of them, 88% are not receiving any legal aid and 12% are receiving legal aid but would like service of alternate advocates,” it stated.
Besides legal aid, the study also tried to ascertain the need of counselling: “It found that 29% victims are in need of services of counsellors in order to address psycho-social challenges faced by them like low self-esteem and social stigma.” The study found that when it comes to a support person, who is meant to assist the child through the process of investigation and trial, 68% victims had availed his or her services for a period of only five days or less.
For victims who could not share their views due to young age, non-availability or inability to answer questions, parents/caregivers were interviewed.