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Schools ‘rarely report’ child sexual abuse to avoid stigma, says Mumbai court

On February 11, 2016, the six-year-old student had returned from school in a distraught state. She told her mother that she had been sexually abused by the van driver. The next day when she was again abused by the driver, her mother went to the school with the child who identified the man.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai | Published: January 31, 2020 4:10:56 am
Ahmedabad assault case, man assaults boy, arrest for sexually assault, ahmedabad news, indian express news The accused had earlier claimed innocence on a ground that the complaint in the case had been filed two days after the incident. (Representational Image)

OBSERVING THAT schools rarely report offences of child sexual abuse on students to avoid stigma and disrepute, a special court has sentenced a school van driver to 10 years in jail for raping a six-year-old student of a school in the city’s western suburbs in 2016.

The accused had earlier claimed innocence on a ground that the complaint in the case had been filed two days after the incident. “The parents of the victim (in the 2006 case) first wrote to the school authorities seeking their help. Before lodging any complaint, they (the school authorities) tried to verify facts, and on verifying they lodged the FIR… Many a times school authorities are reluctant, like in this matter. They have been giving assurance of taking steps, but not taking steps, may be considering the reputation of their school,” the court said in its order last week.

On February 11, 2016, the six-year-old student had returned from school in a distraught state. She told her mother that she had been sexually abused by the van driver. The next day when she was again abused by the driver, her mother went to the school with the child who identified the man. Her mother also noted the details of his van number. The man managed to run away thereafter.

The victim’s mother told court that she had tried to find his contact number and had also emailed the school as well as messaged other parents. Two days later, they approached the school again and discussed the issue with its management along with other parents and then decided to file an FIR.

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