Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday inaugurated the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) e-Box, an online complaint box for reporting child sexual abuse, in Delhi.
An official statement from the WCD Ministry describes this POCSO e-Box as "an online complaint management system for easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against children and timely action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012."
Sexual offences against children, although prevalent, regularly go unreported. The reasons may vary from parents not believing the child or the child believing that what happened was their fault. Quite often, children are also too afraid to speak up, having been threatened by the perpetrator, who may be known to them, or worse, be a member of their family.
The situation — regarding the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator — has been exacerbated by earlier beliefs among experts that people who sexually abuse children are not known to them beforehand.
Speaking at the inauguration of the POCSO e-Box, the WCD minister said: "The idea of an e-Box came from a police initiative in which physical complaint boxes were placed in schools. The e-Box will make it possible to implement it on a large scale throughout the country." She also said the e-Box is very simple to operate and will maintain the confidentiality of the complaint and the complainant.
The WCD Ministry statement said that the e-Box is incorporated prominently in the home page of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) website, where a user has to simply push a button named, POSCO e-Box. This will navigate to a page with a window containing an animation movie. The official NCPCR website may be found here.
The statement also said that the animation movie reassures the child that whatever has happened to him/her is not his/her fault and she/he need not feel guilty and that NCPCR is a friend which will help her.
There is also another page where he or she is asked to select at least one picture describing the category of harassment and fill a form detailing their mobile number, email address and description of the harassment. Then, when they press the "Submit" button, the complaint is registered and they are assigned a unique, automatically generated complaint number.