Prevalence of child abuse in eastern India: a tip of iceberg


  • Dipankar Bala Department of Pediatrics, DR. B. C. Roy Post Graduate Institute of Paediatric sciences, Kolkata, India
  • Benojk Maji SVPPGIP & SCB Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha, India
  • Jyotiranjan Satapathy SVPPGIP & SCB Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha, India
  • Rakesh K. Routray SVPPGIP & SCB Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack, Odisha, India



Emotional abuse, Neglect, Physical abuse, Sexual abuse


Background: There is a large child population in India and a large percentage of this population is vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and neglect. There is also inadequate information about the extent of child abuse in the country. Barring a few sporadic studies, with limited scope, the attempt to understand the different forms and magnitude of child abuse across the country has been inadequate.

Methods: Keeping in mind the sensitivity of the issue, child friendly tools and techniques were used to create an enabling environment for children to respond with ease and share their experiences on different forms of child abuse. The tools and techniques used were One-to-one interaction with children & Focus Group Discussions (FGDs).

Results: 61.69% of respondents report of having physical abuse, 17.17% report one of the major form of sexual abuse, whereas 55.22% faced one of the other form of sexual abuse.30.85% of children faced emotional abuse and 61.17% of girl child report of gender bias in the family.

Conclusions: This study has thrown up information on the extent and magnitude of child abuse and girl child neglect. The study has established beyond doubt that child abuse exists in India and the incidence is much higher than generally perceived.


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