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MAMTA Health Institute for Mother & Child | New Delhi

Legal Aspects of Sexual Abuse

The law in India contains no separate provision for sexual abuse as such.

Child Sexual Abuse is covered by the provision for rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal code. Section 375 defines Child Sexual Abuse as ‘the sexual penetration of a child below 16 years of age.’

The punishment for the rape of a minor is imprisonment for a period not less than seven years, but may be extended to life, which in our country implies 14 years. The abuser could also be fined. If the minor is the man’s wife, he is exempted from punishment unless she is under 12 years of age.

Rape in general, and Child Sexual Abuse specifically, is defined in terms of only penile-vaginal penetration. Other forms of abuse are rarely acknowledged.

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