Editorial comment: Sexual assault on girls alarming

The increasing frequency of sexual assault on minor girls is now a harrowing reality that cannot be ignored. It is an alarming trend that demands immediate attention and action by the police, courts and society as a whole. 

Not a day goes by without cases of sexual assault of young girls by either relatives or strangers being reported. Sexual assault causes immense physical and psychological damage to the victim and can have long-term negative effects on their lives.

The physical and psychological trauma experienced by victims of sexual assault can be far-reaching and life-altering. It is a violent crime that leaves lasting scars on the victim, both mentally and physically. 

The physical injuries inflicted on the victim can last a lifetime, while the psychological trauma can affect the victim’s self-esteem and emotional wellbeing in the years to come. The trauma can also lead to long-term depression and anxiety, and can also lead to suicidal tendencies.

It is necessary to introduce stringent sentences in cases of sexual assault against minor girls as it has become a menace that is threatening the life of innocent young girls who are yet to experience the good and bad sides of life. Strict sentences for perpetrators serve as a deterrent for others with intentions to perpetrate the same offence, and it also sends a strong message to society that such acts are not tolerated under any circumstances.

Furthermore, victims of sexual assault need strong counselling and support to help them recover and move on from the trauma. Counselling services provide a safe and confidential environment for the victim to speak about their experiences and seek support. 

It helps victims process their trauma, address their emotions, and develop coping mechanisms to deal with the trauma. Counselling can also provide the victim with a sense of validation and help restore their sense of control and empowerment.

Sexual assault against minor girls is not only a violation of their human rights, but it also disrupts their emotional, physical and psychological development. It harms the victim and has an impact on their personal growth and development. The crime can lead to social isolation and stigmatisation of the victim, leading to loss of confidence and difficulty in forming relationships later in life.

Preventing sexual assault, especially against minors, requires a multi-faceted approach that involves the vigilance of parents, communities and the Government. 

Parents can safeguard their children by monitoring their activities, locations and the people they associate with. Communities can set up surveillance teams to protect their children from sexual predators within their territories and collaborate with the police to provide secured and restriction-free environment against predators.

The government can enact strong legislation that protects minors from sexual assault and expedite sentences for offenders to serve as a strong deterrent for others. To reduce sexual assault against minors, society at large needs to break the cultural and social clichés, myths and prejudices that fuel the life-threatening crime. 

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