WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IN CASE OF SEXUAL OFFENCE AGAINST A CHILD?

Report the Offence

POCSO Act 2012, makes it mandatory to report sexual offences against children.

 

Anyone who knows that an offence is committed or believes that it is likely to be committed or where there is an apprehension that a sexual offence is likely to be committed against a child, is obliged to report the offence to the SJPU or the local police. 

 

Failure to report the commission of an offence is punishable with imprisonment for a maximum term of six months and/or fine. 

How to Report?

The report may be made to any of the following:

  • Nearest Police Station: You can call up your local Police Station 

  • 1091 Helpline: You can call 1091 Helpline manned 24/7 by police women

  • 112  Helpline: You can call 112 which will respond 24/7

  • Durga Shakti App: You can use the DS App to make a distress call/message

  • 1098 Helpline: You can call 1098 Helpline which is exclusively for children and they will counsel you on the best steps to take

What must you Ensure? 
  • Do not take the child to the police station

  • The child’s statement should be recorded at the residence of the child or at a place where he/she usually resides or at the place of his/her choice

  • As far as possible, the child’s statement should be recorded by a women police officer who must be in plain clothes and not wearing a police uniform 

  • The child’s statement should be recorded in the presence of the parent/s or support persons or any other adult whom the child trusts

  • The statement should be recorded in the language spoken by the child

  • Once the statement is recorded, ask the police to read out the statement aloud 

  • Ask for a copy of the statement from the police

  • Keep in touch with the Investigating Officer of the case

 

Note: If a parent or guardian is the accused, then he/she will not be allowed to be present while recording the statement of the child

What Services are available to the child? 
  • Child Welfare Police Officer: Designated Child Welfare Police Officer (not below the rank of ASI) has been appointed in every police station to exclusively deal with children who are either victims of an offence or in conflict with the law.

  • Child-friendly measures in Police Station: Child-friendly policing includes child-friendly behaviour, child-friendly corners in Women Police Stations and help desk set up in police station.

  • Cyber Crime prevention: Complaints of online material against children, such as child pornography can be made through a centralized online reporting portal (www.cyberpolice.gov.in).

  • Witness Protection Scheme, 2018:  Witness protection measures are undertaken by police including concealment of identity of witnesses, patrolling around the house of the witness, escort to and from the court

  • Medical Care: The child victim of sexual offences is entitled to receive free medical care at any private or government hospital.  The medical examination shall be conducted by a lady doctor if the victim is a girl. 

  • Psychological Counseling: Professionals/persons with knowledge of psychology, social work, physical health, mental health and child development shall be associated to assist the child. 

  • Translator: Child shall be provided with help of interpreter/ Translator/ Special Educators having such qualification, experience to understand the content and language of FIR. 

  • Free Legal Counsel: The Legal Service Authority shall provide the family or the guardian of the child victim with legal counsel for any offence under the POCSO  Act victim.

  • Compensation: Special Court may order compensation on an interim basis to meet the immediate needs of the child for relief and rehabilitation at any stage after registration of FIR.  The compensation is payable by the State Government.

  • Shelter: If the child victim is unsafe or at‐risk at home, he/she may be transferred to a Shelter Home.

  • Education: The child must be helped to resume his/her education as soon as possible in order to enable resumption of the normal routine for full rehabilitation.  

  • Support Person: The CWC can provide a Support Person to assist the child victim and family during the investigation and trial of the case.

  • Maintaining Confidentiality of the child: Disclosing or publishing the identity of the child victim by mentioning the name, address, neighbourhood, school name and other particulars is a punishable offence.