Pune Minor Girl Raped by Kin: How a 'Bad Touch' Class Exposed the Crime
An 11-year-old was allegedly raped by her father, grandfather, uncle, and brother over the last five years.
(Trigger Warning: This story contains mentions of rape, child sexual abuse.)
A regular 'good touch, bad touch' class in a municipality school in Pune's Bund Garden area ended up bringing to light a heinous crime, wherein an 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped by four men in her family.
The shocking case was reported last week, on 19 March, when the Pune Police filed an FIR against her father, maternal grandfather (56), uncle (23), and her 14-year-old brother for raping her since 2017. Two days later, the minor accused was detained, while the grandfather and uncle were sent to police custody.
"The minor (survivor) is in an observation home in the city. She is under a lot of trauma without even realising what she was going through. From what we understand, the brother has been assaulting her from late 2020, while the father has been forcing himself upon her since she was much younger," Investigating Officer Savita Sapkale told The Quint.
Originally from Bihar, the minor survivor's mother and father are both deaf and mute, and engaged in daily wage labour.
"The family is struggling with money as the minor's parents have been in and out of work. They moved to Pune in 2019 because the mother found a construction job that paid her better wages than in Bihar. The father, however, remained in their home state and is engaged in agricultural labour," sources told The Quint.
A separate team has been sent to Bihar to arrest the father.
It was another 11-year-old who had convinced the survivor to go speak to a school teacher, after a class on 'good touch, bad touch.' The session was being conducted across schools in Pune to acquaint young children with matters related to sexuality, including abuse.
While the teacher immediately summoned the mother, she also took the minor survivor for counselling. The teacher then approached the Pune Police, seeking their intervention.
"The mother was already in a state of shock when we summoned her. Prima facie, she did not know about anything. But we are also exploring whether the child was forced by any of the men, including her brother, to not tell the mother," the investigating officer added.
The family lives in a small one-room settlement in the city, and the cops suspect that the incidents of assault took place when the mother was out for work.
"A case of gang rape has not been filed, as the incident took place at different points. The accused were also not aware that the other men were assaulting the minor. Further investigation is underway."Investigating Officer
The accused have been booked under Sections 376 (punishment for rape), 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The Importance of Learning 'Good' and 'Bad' Touches
A survey of over 45,000 children in the 12-18 age group, across 26 states in the country, revealed that one in every two children was a victim of child sexual abuse. Most of them never report it, and in most cases, the abuser is known to the child.
In 2017, the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) said that students must recognise the difference between 'good touch' and 'bad touch' and look to their books to know what they should do if they face abuse.
The same year, it suggested that the central and state governments carry a list of dos to deal with such cases. It also mandated books to have certain helpline numbers and briefs about the POCSO Act and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
Anuja Gupta from the Rahi Foundation told the FIT earlier that the first step for the parents, even before they talk to the child about safe and unsafe touch, is to create an environment at home where conversations take place.
"We presume that the safe circle of children includes parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts. We don't acknowledge that very often, it's these respected elders who are the abusers."Anuja Gupta
It's important that your child gets immediate medical attention, counselling, and support, so that they feel loved and supported even when they are going through the most intense, negative feelings, Gupta added.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.