New Delhi: The UN’s children’s fund (UNICEF) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Wednesday joined hands to strengthen the response of medical practitioners in identifying, reporting and treating cases of child sexual abuse (CSA).
Announcing the special partnership, the IMF and the UNICEF India chapter said that they will equip medical practitioners with a detailed understanding of diverse facets of child sexual abuse along with relevant legal provisions.
“Medical practitioners are often the first point of contact in a child sexual abuse case, and are required to take prompt action to ensure immediate and effective treatment of the child,” they said.
“Violence against children is all too often unseen, unheard and under reported. This partnership with the medical fraternity of the country will play a key role in strengthening the care for child survivors and in bringing new ideas and expertise to support our mission in generating awareness among medical and allied professionals,” David McLoughlin, a UNICEF official said.
“Every case of child sexual abuse has to be taken as medical emergency. Treatment has to be provided free of cost by the government as well as private medical facilities, A. Marthanda Pillai and K.K. Aggarwal national president and honorary secretary general, IMA respectively, said in a joint statement.
In a case of sexual assault of a child, it is the legal duty of a doctor to give medical care, collect forensic evidence, report the offence to the police and give testimony in court if required, they added.
In India, 4.5 percent of girls aged 15-19 have been subjected to sexual abuse. Boys are also exposed to sexual violence but usually to a less extent, a release issued here said.