Male children are no longer neglected in The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act - Seeker's Thoughts

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Male children are no longer neglected in The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act

Child sexual abuse has been prevalent in societies. However, there are laws to protect children against abuses. Sexual abuse does not discriminate with gender, but there is no denying that female are often targeted more. The government of India has POCSO Act 2012 for protection of children and there were many things which needed to be involved for example- stricter punishment for male victim. 
The recent rape cases of Kathua and Unnao where minors were raped brutally compelled law to change and turn strict towards rapists. 
Image Source- Youtube

What is Sexual Abuse?
A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact and it can happen online. Sometimes the child won't understand that what's happening to them is abuse. They may not even understand that it's wrong. Or they may be afraid to speak out. That's why we're working to break the silence around child sexual abuse, and give children a voice when they desperately need support.

What is POCSO Act?
POCSO or The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 was established to protect the children against offences like sexual abuse, sexual harassment and pornography. Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 received the President's assent on June 19, 2012.
However, the absence of changes to Prevention of Child Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, which deals with sexual crimes against both girls and boys, meant that similar crimes committed against boys carried lighter punishment as those committed against girls. The latest set of changes approved by the Union Cabinet address these anomalies.

Amendments in April 2018
The Bill was introduced to amend the Indian Penal Code to provide death penalty for gangrape of a girl less than 12 years, and 20 years in jail to death penalty for rape of a girl less than 12 years, among others.

Provisions were also added to provide imprisonment for the rest of one’s natural life for gangrape of a girl less than 16 years, while rape of a girl in the same age bracket would be punishable with jail of 20 years up to life imprisonment.

Change in December 2018
Boys included

The government of India in last week of December 2018, approved amendments to the POCSO Act 2012, to bring punishments for sexual assaults against boys on par with those against girls, including the provision of death penalty when a child is under 12-years-old.

The Union Cabinet approved changes to Section 6 of the POCSO Act, which deals with punishments for aggravated penetrative sexual assault, enhancing the punishment of 10 years to life imprisonment to 20 years to imprisonment for remainder of a person’s natural life or with death.
This category of offence includes assault on a child under the age of 12 years, gangrape, assault on a mentally or physically challenged child or one that is committed by a relative.
The government has also amended the definition of aggravated penetrative sexual assault to include an offence that causes the death of a child.

How do you define child sexual abuse

There are 2 different types of child sexual abuse. These are called contact abuse and non-contact abuse.

Contact abuse involves touching activities where an abuser makes physical contact with a child, including penetration. It includes:
·         sexual touching of any part of the body whether the child's wearing clothes or not
·         rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child's mouth, vagina or anus
·         forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activity
·         making a child take their clothes off, touch someone else's genitals or masturbate.
Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities, such as groomingexploitation, persuading children to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing. It includes:
·         encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts
·         not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activities by others
·         meeting a child following sexual grooming with the intent of abusing them
·         online abuse including making, viewing or distributing child abuse images
·         allowing someone else to make, view or distribute child abuse images
·         showing pornography to a child
·         sexually exploiting a child for money, power or status (child exploitation).