Sexual assaults constitute 80 percent of child abuse cases, says government

By Doan Loan    April 19, 2019 | 08:14 pm GMT+7
Sexual assaults constitute 80 percent of child abuse cases, says government
An average of 2,000 children a year suffer from violence and/or abuse and need help and intervention. Photo by Shutterstock/HTWE

Out of 1,600 cases of child abuse last year, 80 percent involved sexual assault, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

In a report the ministry filed at a conference Thursday, it said that, in 59 percent of child sexual abuse cases reported to the national hotline for child protection, the perpetrators were neighbors or acquaintances of the children. Twenty one percent were relatives and six percent were teachers and other school staff.

Nguyen Thi Nga, deputy head of the Child Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, attributed the prevalence of child sexual abuse to gender inequality, economic inequality, poverty, and social prejudices related to violence and abuse.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha said an average of 2,000 children a year suffer from violence and/or abuse and need help and intervention. 

Many cases of abuse occur in places considered safe such as home and schools, and abusers are people close to the victims like fathers and teachers, she lamented.

Lesley Miller, deputy head of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Vietnam, said the country has recently witnessed serious cases of child abuse ranging from sexual abuse to school violence. 

It is an urgent necessity to have a national plan for child protection, she said. It is also imperative for Vietnam to strengthen regulations and make amendments to the Law on Children so that all children under 18 are protected against violence and abuse, she added.

Several cases of child sexual abuse recently came to light. 

Last month a primary school teacher in Hanoi was accused of touching several 5th graders in "inappropriate places." 

Earlier this month camera footage showed a former government prosecutor molesting a child  in an elevator in Saigon, wrapping his arms around her neck and kissing her.

There were over 18,500 law violation and school violence cases involving teachers and students between 2011 and 2018, and more than 11,800 fights resulting in injuries, according to both the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Public Security.

A 2014 survey of 3,000 Hanoi students showed that 80 percent of students faced gender-based violence at least once and 71 percent faced school violence in the six months preceding the study.

 
 
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