A recent case of the Indian 10-year old pregnant rape victim has left the court and the medics torn in two.
The family of the girl filed a petition for an abortion but the Supreme Court has denied the request. The concerns are both ways- Can a 10-year old who has not properly known how to take care of herself go through labor and nurse a child? What are her chances of survival? On the other hand, if granted the permission to abort, can a girl of that age survive the procedure? More so when the baby is 32 weeks old.
Rape in India has become alarming. Women and children are often the core victims of rape in India.
Health experts have found it baffling to address the sad incident of the Indian 10-year old pregnant rape victim.
The child whose name is withdrawn was constantly molested by a male relative identified as the mother’s cousin. The rapist-relative lived with the family of the girl.
No one could tell anything was wrong with the child except that she was putting on more weight especially in her tummy area. The 10-year old has always been a chubby baby so it was not necessarily an issue.
However it got to a disturbing point when the innocent child complained of pains in her lower abdomen 3 weeks ago. The parents took her to the hospital and the truth was too heavy for them to comprehend. Their 10-year old baby girl was 7 months pregnant.
Rape is one of the most common crimes against women in India. A survey by Human Rights Watch revealed that in India, more than 7,200 minors – 1.6 in 100,000 minors are annually raped.
The National Crime Records Bureau 2013 annual report, says that out of 24, 923 reported rape cases, 24, 470 were committed by persons familiar to the victims.
BBC also says 50% of abusers are known to the child or are “persons in trust and care-givers”.
Proving the above statistic true was the case of this Indian 10-year old pregnant rape victim. The accused relative admitted his actions and have been subsequently locked up in prison and awaiting trial.
Mahavir Singh, of the Chandigarh State Legal Services Authority said:
“We have seen lots of cases of teenage pregnancies involving 14 to 15-year-olds, but this is the first ever case that I have seen of a 10-year-old,”
For cases such as this Indian 10-year old pregnant rape victim, child rape survivors move the motion that the victim be allowed to abort at 20 weeks. As seen in this case, most times the children exceed the duration because no one readily suspects a 10-year old to be pregnant.
The girl who has been described as happy, shy and reticent does not know in clear terms what the problem is. Doctors say she is mildly anemic but the fetus is doing fine.
More saddening is the fact that the girl in question survived a hole in the heart in 2013. Just how much trauma can she take at this age?
Her father, a government employee and a domestic helper mum have been totally shattered by this event. Her father said:
“I want him [the abuser] to be severely punished. He should get the death penalty or be locked away for the rest of his life in prison. He has admitted to the crime. But he has never said sorry to us,”
Already the family battle the stigma of the situation.
All this Indian pregnant rape victim knows is that there is a big stone in her stomach which doctors will remove soon. For her safety, Caesarean delivery has been prescribed.
Her mental health is another top priority for her to have a lesser future baggage.