Context: Recently, recognising the trauma faced by minor rape victims, the government has decided to provide medical, financial and infrastructural support to victims in cases where sexual assault results in pregnancies.
About the scheme
- The special scheme, announced by the Women and Child Development Ministry on Monday, would operate under the aegis of the Nirbhaya Fund.
- The new scheme aims to provide integrated support and assistance to girl child victims under one roof, facilitate immediately, emergency and non-emergency access to a range of services, including access to education, police assistance, and health care, including maternity, neo-natal and infant care, psychological and legal support.
- It will also provide insurance cover for the minor girl victim and her newborn under one roof to enable access to justice and rehabilitation.
- Any girl below 18 years of age, a victim of rape as per the provisions of the POCSO Act, and who has become pregnant due to such assault or rape would be covered under the scheme.
As per the rules, it is not mandatory for the victim to have a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) for availing of the benefits under the scheme.
Some related facts
- In the year 2021, the National Crime Records Bureau reported 51,863 cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
- Out of these, 64% of cases were reported under Sections 3 and 5 (penetrative sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault respectively).
- Further analysis of the data shows that 99% of the cases were committed against girls.
- In many cases, girls become pregnant and bear several physical and mental health concerns, which are further aggravated when they are disowned or abandoned by their families or are orphans.