April is observed as Child Abuse Prevention Month to raise awareness about child abuse. The month is designated towards prevention of child abuse in the United States in 1983.
According to a government of India study done in 2007, India has the highest percentage (53%) of children who have faced one or more forms of sexual abuse. It was the largest such study in the world where around 12,500 children across 13 states were covered. The report discusses the incidence of child abuse nationwide. It is estimated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence. In 2002 there were 53,000 reported cases of child homicide. A Global School-Based Student Health Survey found that 20% and 65% of school going children reported having been verbally and physically bullied in the last 30 days
According to UNICEF violence against children can be “physical and mental abuse and injury, neglect or negligent treatment, exploitation and sexual abuse. Violence may take place in homes, schools, orphanages, residential care facilities, on the streets, in the workplace, in prisons and in places of detention.” WHO estimates that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence.
In December 2018, the Union Cabinet approved amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, to include the death penalty in all cases of aggravated penetrative sexual assault against children, both boys and girls, below the age of 18.