Category Archives: child abuse

Putting child abuse on the national agenda

One of the first steps to putting child abuse on the national agenda is to first collect data about the extent and nature of abuse. WCD recently completed a very large scale study which will hopefully raise awareness of this ghastly problem which has only been magnified because of the breakdown of the family and the institution of marriage.


India is home to almost 19 percent of the world’s children. More than one third of the country’s population, around 440 million, is below 18 years. According to one assumption 40 percent of these children are in need of care and protection, which indicates the extent of the problem. In a country like India with its multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious population, the problems of socially marginalized and economically backward groups are immense. Within such groups the most vulnerable section is always the children. For the Ministry of Women and Child Development the challenge is to reach out to the most vulnerable and socially excluded child of this country and create an environment wherein, not only is every child protected, but s/he also has access to opportunities and education for her/his all round growth and development.

However, all these efforts need further supplementation through the creation of adequate knowledge base on child protection. In order to address this gap, one of the significant decisions taken by the Ministry was to initiate a National Study on Child Abuse in the year 2005. This study, which is the largest of its kind undertaken anywhere in the world, covered 13 states with a sample size of 12447 children, 2324 young adults and 2449 stakeholders. It looked at different forms of child abuse: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Emotional Abuse and Girl Child Neglect in five different evidence groups, namely, children in a family environment, children in school, children at work, children on the street and children in institutions.



It has very clearly emerged that across different kinds of abuse, it is young children, in the 5-12 year group, who are most at risk of abuse and exploitation.

Physical Abuse

1. Two out of every three children were physically abused.

2. Out of 69% children physically abused in 13 sample states, 54.68% were boys.

3. Over 50% children in all the 13 sample states were being subjected to one or the other form of physical abuse.

4. Out of those children physically abused in family situations, 88.6% were physically abused by parents.

5. 65% of school going children reported facing corporal punishment i.e. two out of three children were victims of corporal punishment.

6. 62% of the corporal punishment was in goverment and municipal school.

7. The State of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi have almost consistently reported higher rates of abuse in all forms as compared to other states.

8. Most children did not report the matter to anyone.

9. 50.2% children worked seven days a week.


Sexual Abuse

1. 53.22% children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse.

2. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest percentage of sexual abuse among both boys and girls.

3. 21.90% child respondents reported facing severe forms of sexual abuse and 50.76% other forms of sexual abuse.

4. Out of the child respondents, 5.69% reported being sexually assaulted.

5. Children in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi reported the highest incidence of sexual assault.

6. Children on street, children at work and children in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault.

7. 50% abuses are persons known to the child or in a position of trust and responsibility.

8. Most children did not report the matter to anyone.


Emotional Abuse and Girl Child Neglect

1. Every second child reported facing emotional abuse.

2. Equal percentage of both girls and boys reported facing emotional abuse.

3. In 83% of the cases parents were the abusers.

4. 48.4% of girls wished they were boys.


Maternal Filicide is Thriving

How many times have we seen this story repeat itself? How many children have to be killed before someone takes notice? When will we have a law that will allow a father to raise red flags against the mother with the authorities? How long will it be before the judiciary learns to accept that moms are not the obvious choice for taking care of the children?

Several reasons abound for why maternal filicide happens: severe post partum depression, poverty etc. In fact there is even a term called “altruistic maternal filicide” where mother kills children out of her love for them. WOW!!

“A depressed housewife smothered her 22-month-old son to death before hanging herself at her parental house on 7th Main, 7th Cross, Kanakapalya, Jayanagar II Block, in Siddapura police limits in the early hours of Saturday” read the story here

Nurse kills two children, attempts suicide, read story here

Mother Held for daughter’s murder, read story here

Indian Mother tries to Murder Newborn baby, read story here

Mother and children dead from murder-suicide fire, read story here

Mother murders child and gets treated like queen in jail, read story here

Pediatric nurse kills her children, read story here

Woman poisons, three children and herself, read here

Mom throws her child off the fourth floor, read here

Vengeful Mothers: Are they in the Best Interests of the Child?

A UK Judge has said that “good fathers are powerless against vengeful mothers”. In this particular case, mother made false sexual abuse allegations, exhibited PA (parental alienation) behavior, and child subsequently exhibits PAS (parental alienation syndrome). Even though the courts find that the allegations are unfounded, the court decides that it would be in the best interests of the child to not see/spend time with DAD since it would be too stressful for her.


Can this judge and the family court system answer a few logical questions:

1. Is it in the best interests of the child long term to live with this vengeful mother? How so?

2. Why does the court not give sole custody to the father and prevent mother from seeing the child unless and until she stops her venomous behavior?

3. Is a parent’s abusive alienating behavior less harmful for the child’s long term development and growth than NOT being with the mother?

Dads Need to Be Vigilant, No one else will help you

Why is it always assumed that the mother is best for the child? There are so many cases, so many stats that children living with single mother are exposed to many more abuses, even more so when the mother gets a new boyfriend. But the courts care two hoots about this….their presumption is that “child is with mom, so should be OK”.  In a scenario like this it is absolutely essential that dads cannot make the same assumption, they need to hound the mom and have access to their kids, that would be the only way to prevent the complete destruction of the child.

The case is yet another example of anti-father family court bias, the utter lack of respect with which the father-child bond is treated, and how some mothers are able to get away with whatever they want regarding kids and child custody. If the system were fairer, if the system cared about Damion Peterson’s loving bonds with his son, the boy would still be alive today.

Outrageous Case: Military Dad’s Kid Abducted by Mom, then Abused & Murdered–but Dad Doesn’t Find out His Boy Is Dead Until a Year Later


Monetary Incentives needed to protect Family

Father-absence associated with divorce and sole maternal custody, is the primary predictor of a host of societal ills affecting and destroying children (tons of data in support of this in attached article). In some countries like the US, evidence has shown that monetary incentives provided by the federal government to the states has worked when it comes to ensuring child support payments. Unfortunately, this system has led to the creation of the divorce industry, where a whole host of governmental organisations and NGO’s work hand in hand to get a piece of the pie, paying little heed to the fact that they are destroying society by their high handedness.

What is needed is to use the same idea to promote and incentivize other desired behaviors like visitation by fathers, promotion of marriages, promotion of father involvement, presumption of joint custody.

If this is really all about the children, then a father’s wallet can no longer be a substitute for his presence.



State Sponsored Child Abuse Results in a Fatherless Society

I cannot even say the words. A huge emptiness would well in my stomach, a deep loathing for those who would deign to tell me they would ALLOW me ACCESS to my children — those I loved above all, those I created, those who gave meaning to everything I did, those that were the very best of us two and the absolute physical manifestation of our once blinding love. Who the fuck are they that they should ALLOW anything? REASONABLE CONTACT!!! Is the law mad? Am I a criminal? An ABSENT parent. A RESIDENT/NON-RESIDENT parent. This Lawspeak which you all speak so fluently, so unthinkingly, so hurtfully, must go.–BOB GELDOF

5 heart wrenching videos by BOB GELDOF (well worth the time to watch them)


The law must know it is contributing to the problem. It is creating vast wells of misery, massive discontent, an unstable society of feral children and reckless adolescents who have no understanding of authority or ultimate sanction, no knowledge of a man’s love and how it is different but equal to a woman’s, irresponsible mothers, drifting, hopeless fathers, problem and violent ill-educated sons and daughters, a disconnect from the extended family and society at large, vast swathes of cynicism and repeat pattern behaviour in subsequent adult relationships.– BOB GELDOF


Presumption of Joint Custody

INDIA has no laws around joint custody. In the US only Thirty-five states plus the District of Columbia have statutes that explicitly authorize joint custody as a presumption or strong preference. READ THE STATUTES HERE

In the following oped article in the Washington Post, David Levy, CEO of the Children’s Rights Council advocates the presumption of joint custody and posits that “sole-custody court battles often drive mothers and fathers, pardon the expression, “nuts,” especially if they were mentally challenged to begin with. And violence can’t be predicted scientifically”. He uses the example of Mark Castillo who killed his three children as an example of what may happen when parents are driven “nuts”

In response to this, Joan Meier, executive director of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project at George Washington University Law School responds in another oped piece in the Washington Post, uses this extreme example to make some unsubstantiated points like

  • “Mothers rarely fabricate or exaggerate the dangers they see”.
  • “Bitter custody disputes” do not arise in a vacuum — most arise in the context of mothers seeking to end abuse or protect their children.
  • “acting normal” with an abuser can be a survival strategy
  • Contrary to stereotypes, most divorcing mothers do not seek to deprive the children of their father.
  • Men who abuse their partners often pose a threat to their children. Most women seeking to restrict fathers’ access to their children are doing so out of legitimate fear for their well-being.
  • And too many children are delivered to dangerous fathers by family courts that prioritize fathers’ “rights” over children’s safety.

Really Joan???. Help me understand the following two data points in that case (data from the US Dept of Health and Human Services)

Mothers are more than twice as likely as fathers to abuse their children

Mothers are more than twice as likely as fathers to kill their children