Monday, June 3, 2013

China suddenly is aware of sexual abuse of its children

LA Times  In China's southern Hainan province, a school principal and a housing authority official were arrested after they allegedly took six girls ages 11 to 13 out to sing karaoke, got them drunk and spent the night with them in a hotel. 

A principal in Anhui province was arrested on suspicion of molesting nine girls, and a 50-year-old math teacher in the same province was charged with raping a 7-year-old girl. A kindergarten security guard was arrested, accused of molesting children.

All these incidents took place in the last three weeks, an unusual spate of sexual abuse cases in a country where such matters are seldom discussed and too-infrequently prosecuted.

Despite the government's role in publicizing the cases and promise to crack down on child abusers, the incidents are inspiring protests — on the streets and on the Internet — and accusations of a ham-handed coverup attempt as parents were forbidden to retain lawyers. [...]

In China, sexual abuse of children has not been the high-profile issue that it is in the United States, or more recently Britain.

That changed on a dime last month. Within the last three weeks, there have been nine major cases of sexual abuse in schools around the country, with more than 30 children involved.

The common denominator in the cases is that those accused of abuse have been people with power, such as principals or teachers, and their alleged victims often children of migrant workers or farmers. Millions of working parents must leave their children with grandparents or at boarding schools, where the young people don't always receive adequate supervision.

Most cases of sexual abuse "happen to the children of people who don't have money and don't have power," said Li Yinhe, a Beijing-based sociologist who writes frequently about sex. She also blamed limited sex education in the Chinese school system.

"Children here have zero sex education. They have no sense that there are some parts of their bodies that other people aren't allowed to touch, and it is very easy for them to be abused by people they trust, like a principal or teacher," she said.

The sudden proliferation of sexual abuse cases appears to be the result of rising awareness and a decision by the government to allow reporting on the subject. [...]

No comments :

Post a Comment

please use either your real name or a pseudonym.