Child Sex Offences

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Child sexual abuse is alarmingly increasing day by day. One cannot be sure that all such cases are reported to the police. Children are the weakest and most vulnerable section of human population since they are unable to raise their voice against those who injure them.

 

Child sex abuseoccurs when a person uses power, force or authority to involve a child or young person or adult in any form of unwanted or illegal sexual activity. This can involve touching or no contact at all. This may take the form of taking sexual explicit photographs or videos of children, forcing children to watch or take part in sexual acts and forcing or coercing children to have sex or engage in sexual acts with other children or adults.

 

Sexual abuse of a child is the involvement of a child in a sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or that violate the laws or social taboos of society. The data which is available is merely the TIP of an iceberg as child sexual abuse cases remain unreported and under-reported, cloaked in secrecy, taboo and traditional patriarchal mind sets which subsumes child’s victimization to adult dominance. Contrary to popular belief that the threat of sexual abuse is always from outsiders, the abuser in almost 90 per cent cases is someone the child knows and trusts. He may be a member of the family – father, uncle, cousin older siblings or servants, driver’s gardeners, family friends or neighbours.

 

United nation on Children Sex Abuse-

 

On 20thNovember 1989, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Within a year, 141 countries had either signed the Convention or had become State Parties to it by ratification or accession.

Article 19 it was agreed that:

  1. State Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
  2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for the identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment, described heretofore, and as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

Article 34 requires that:

Children shall be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Governments shall take appropriate measures to prevent:

(a) the inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any sexual activity;
(b) the exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices; (c) the exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials

Data on Children Sex Offences-

  1. Australian females aged 15-19 had the highest victimisation rate for sexual assault (546 per 100,000) (ABS, cited in Tarczon& Quadara, 2012).
  2. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS 2005) Personal Safety Survey, 12 percent of women and 4.5 percent of men in Australia report having been sexually abused before the age of 15 years. In total, the ABS (2005: 42) estimated that in 2005, 1,294,000 people living in Australia (337,400 males and 956,600 females) had experienced sexual abuse before the age of 15. (Richards, 2011).

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011). the number of victims aged 0- 19 for the sexual assault were: 11,685

Child sex offence in Queensland –

They are lot of laws which decide that children sex offences are punished by the courts. The highest punishment one person can get is life imprisonment for 14 years by the court if found guilty.

  • Carnal knowledge with or of children under 16
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    1) Any person who has or attempts to have unlawful carnal knowledge with or of a child under the age of 16 years is guilty of an indictable offence.
    (2) If the child is of or above the age of 12 years, the offender is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.
    (3) If the child is under the age of 12 years, the offender is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for life or, in the case of an attempt to have unlawful carnal knowledge, to imprisonment for 14 years.
    (4) If the child is not the lineal descendant of the offender but the offender is the child’s guardian or, for the time being, has the child under the offender’s care, the offender is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for life or, in the case of an attempt to have unlawful carnal knowledge, to imprisonment for 14 years.
    (4A) If the child is a person with an impairment of the mind, the offender is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for life.
    (4B) The Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 , section 161Q also states a circumstance of aggravation for an offence against this section.
    (4C) An indictment charging an offence against this section with the circumstance of aggravation stated in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 , section 161Q may not be presented without the consent of a Crown Law Officer.
    (5) If the offence is alleged to have been committed in respect of a child of or above the age of 12 years, it is a defence to prove that the accused person believed, on reasonable grounds, that the child was of or above the age of 16 years.
    (5A) If the offence is alleged to have been committed with the circumstance of aggravation mentioned in subsection (4A), it is a defence to the circumstance of aggravation to prove that the accused person believed on reasonable grounds that the child was not a person with an impairment of the mind.

  • Indecent treatment of children under 16
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    (1) Any person who—
    (a) unlawfully and indecently deals with a child under the age of 16 years; or
    (b) unlawfully procures a child under the age of 16 years to commit an indecent act; or
    (c) unlawfully permits himself or herself to be indecently dealt with by a child under the age of 16 years; or
    (d) wilfully and unlawfully exposes a child under the age of 16 years to an indecent act by the offender or any other person; or
    (e) without legitimate reason, wilfully exposes a child under the age of 16 years to any indecent object or any indecent film, videotape, audiotape, picture, photograph or printed or written matter; or
    (f) without legitimate reason, takes any indecent photograph or records, by means of any device, any indecent visual image of a child under the age of 16 years;
    is guilty of an indictable offence.
    (2) If the child is of or above the age of 12 years, the offender is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.
    (3) If the child is under the age of 12 years, the offender is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.
    (4) If the child is, to the knowledge of the offender, his or her lineal descendant or if the offender is the guardian of the child or, for the time being, has the child under his or her care, the offender is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.
    (4A) If the child is a person with an impairment of the mind, the offender is guilty of a crime, and is liable to imprisonment for 20 years.
    (4B) The Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 , section 161Q also states a circumstance of aggravation for an offence against this section.
    (4C) An indictment charging an offence against this section with the circumstance of aggravation stated in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 , section 161Q may not be presented without the consent of a Crown Law Officer.
    (5) If the offence is alleged to have been committed in respect of a child of or above the age of 12 years, it is a defence to prove that the accused person believed, on reasonable grounds, that the child was of or above the age of 16 years.
    (5A) If the offence is alleged to have been committed with the circumstance of aggravation mentioned in subsection (4A), it is a defence to the circumstance of aggravation to prove that the accused person believed on reasonable grounds that the child was not a person with an impairment of the mind.
    (6) In this section—

    “deals with” includes doing any act which, if done without consent, would constitute an assault as defined in this Code.

FAQs

  • 1. The Police has to prove that child was small in the age and it was below under 12 or under 16 or under 10 then the law section will be applied on the accused.
    2. The police have to prove that if the child has been in the guardianship of the accused.
    3. The police will also have to give evidences of the action which is done by accused.
  • The Magistrate Court will handle such type of cases.

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