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Nearly one-third of women have been sexually abused

KARACHI: Nearly one-third of women have been sexually abused in some form or degree of incest including fondling, touching, exposure and in extreme cases rape, said psychiatrist Dr Uzma Ambareen of the Pakistan Association of Mental Health while talking to Daily Times about S’s case.

Girls are targeted more than boys and it happens more in lower-income social groups. “Sexual perversion is a form of mental illness,” she said when asked if S could have ‘helped’ himself. “But the person is aware of what they are doing and the consequences. He should be held accountable.”

His pedophilic leaning could be traced to his own childhood or upbringing as Dr Ambareen believes that generally people with a ‘normal’ childhood are extremely unlikely to engage in this behaviour. S has said his daughter was involved with him after a stage but Dr Ambareen cautioned that this was his way of rationalizing his actions. “The problem is that in these cases the victim is accused,” she said.

The entire family unit needs to see a doctor and B’s feelings towards her daughter must be examined. The daughter must be psychiatrically evaluated as the publicity into the case could make her suicidal.

Dr Ambareen advised that if anyone suspects incest they should approach a doctor. Some of the clues are a change in behaviour in the child (depression, overt and inappropriate sexual behaviour, anxiety) and the parent’s eagerness to be alone with the child. If this is so the child should be asked in a non-threatening manner if anyone has harmed them. “Sometimes children don’t open up to a parent but will to a doctor,” she said. They should be assessed.

Source: Daily Times

Date:12/1/2007

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