A questionnaire-based Study of Knowledge and Attitude in Healthcare Professionals about Child Sexual Abuse related to POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act: A Cross-sectional Study
Keywords:POCSO Act; Child Sexual Abuse; Knowledge; Attitude; Questionnaire; Healthcare Professional.
Introduction: The Government of India has passed special law, The Protection of Children from Sexual
Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 which provides strong shield for protection of children from heinous crimes
of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography, there by safe guarding the interest of children at every
stage of judicial proceeding.
Methodology: A questionnaire based study was carried among 100 healthcare professionals working at the
tertiary care Hospital, randomly selected. The questionnaire had 15 Multiple Choice Questions about Child
Sexual Abuse related to POCSO Act. Collected data was analysed statistically.
Objective: The study is aimed to assess knowledge and attitude about Child Sexual Abuse related to POCSO
Act among healthcare professionals.
Result: Greater percentage of healthcare professionals have knowledge about major aspects of POCSO
Act, as related to its full form (75%), enactment (62%), definition of child (62%), different types of sexual
offence (86%), its mandatory reporting (81%), and trial in child friendly special courts (64%). But in few
areas, knowledge related is scarce as only 40% participants knew punishment scales of POCSO Act and 46%
knew failure to report is punishable offence. 84% participants suggest multidisciplinary approach is the need
of hour to tackle cases of child sexual abuse.
Conclusion: To curb this menace educating health care professionals along with children, spreading
knowledge and awareness at community level with strict law enforcement will play a key role.
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