According to a report by China Foundation of Culture and Arts for Children around 433 sexual assault cases involving juveniles were reported last year. Social workers and legal experts feel that these cases are just the tip of the iceberg.
Keeping in view the spiraling cases of child abuses, a professional anti-child sexual abuse forum was held in Beijing Friday. It was hosted by two domestic non-profits that brought together social workers, lawyers, prosecutors, counselors and victims to chalk out a strategy to contain cases of child abuse
Experts at the forum revealed that most of these abuses are committed by acquaintances, including family members, close relatives, teachers and neighbors that have a close relationship with the victims. They also pointed out that lack of sex education further triggers the situation. In majority of the cases, children do not realize what happened to them and in some cases they are threatened to maintain silence on the abuse.
Children's Hope Foundation initiated a project named as "True Love" in 2013 to support sexually abused children. They have rehabilitated 30 children. However, Li Zikun, who works closely with the victims, says they have been calling for social workers, legal experts and counselors to work in tandem to ensure legal aid and professional care for victims.
Lai Weinan, partner of Shenzen based Haihan Law Firm has been working with juveniles for the last three years. He told CGTN that he faced severe emotional turmoil in the initial years of dealing with cases of child abuse.
Difficulties in collecting evidence to convict the accused coupled with lack of policy support, public trust and coordination between NGOs and the judicial system, added to his turmoil.
However, despite hurdles he has been actively advocating for legislative changes. He also supports a complete ban on persons accused of juvenile related crime so as to keep them from professions related to children and educational institutions.
But it's not only the professionals who could prevent child abuse; the society has to wake up to fight against the menace.