The number of juvenile victims of sexual assault in rural areas of China has for the first time surpassed the number of urban victims, according to a report released by a Beijing-based foundation on Thursday.
A total of 443 cases that involve 778 victims of sexual violence against children aged under 14 were reported in 2016, which means at least two children were sexually assaulted every day in China.
However, the number does not include those cases which went unreported, according to the annual report released by Girls' Protection, an organization affiliated to the China Foundation of Culture and Arts for Children.
Among the victims, 75 percent are from rural areas and 34 percent are aged under 12, the report added.
"It is a fact rather than a trend that more cases of sexual assault against children are happening in rural areas, and the left-behind children in those regions are the most vulnerable," said Tong Xiaojun, a professor at the China Youth University for Political Sciences.
Tong also suggested that courses on children's sexual harassment should be included into the national compulsory education system as a supplement for the exam-oriented education.