I. INTRODUCTION”There can be no keener revealation of asociety’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”. (NelsonMandela).
We ca judge a country by how it treats its children. It is supposedthat every child on earth deserves to live a cheerful life with the affectionfrom parents, nobody can harm them. In recent years, however, apart from somecrime-related problems, children abuse has been appealing global specialattention. Viet Nam is one of the nations that has recorded the most enormouspercentage of children/ teenagers undergoing sexual abuse. According to someprestigious newspapers such as Thanh Nien News, VoV, etc., the number of childsexual abuse cases is increasing constantly.
More specifically, according to anarticle in Vietnamnews, there were more than 4,100 cases of sexual violenceagainst children reported, with girls comprising of more than 80 per cent of4,140 child victims from 2014 to 2016 (Vietnamnews, 31/7/2017). Regardless ofmany measures taken and rigorous legislations enacted by government and localauthorities, the figure keeps up rising significantly. It respresents for thealarming status of this phenomenon. Thus, this paper, based on secondary data, withan aim to extend awareness of child sexual abuse, will discuss the culprits,impacts of this phenomenon on children and suggest some immediate measures toput this kind of harassment to an end.II.DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS2.
1.Situation of child sexual abuse2.1.1. What is child sexual abuse?Childsexual abuse can be defined as a form of abuse that involves sexual activitywith a minor.
?????It denotes as an action to gratify or satisfy the needs of the other person.The perpetrator executes by manipulating the child’s trust, luring them by manytricks, for example, trying to be closeto children, then saying to them that not only is this activity ordinary andsmooth, it will comfort, lift them to the heaven and eliminate stressfulsensation coming from studying at school. School age children and teenagers,therefore, are predominant victims because abusers know that children at theseages are wholly innocent and cannot be aware of what perpetrators do, so they cannotreport to their family and local authority. 2.1.2.Situation in Viet NamInViet Nam, child sexual abuse is becomingincreasingly prevailent. According to the latest statistics of the Generaldepartment, more than 4,100 children were sexually abused nationwide, with 80 %of victims being females.
There were 278 children who were aged 6, 1,333ranging from 6 to 12, and around 2,500 were teenagers amid the sufferers in2014-2016 period (the Sundaily.my-28/7/2017). In the first half of 2017, atotal of 696 cases of sexual violence against children were reported, with 710victims. However, these are not totally accurate figures, just estimated.
Theyare just only the tip of the ice berg. The reality may be as much as severaltimes. This may seem to keep increasing down the line.Peoplealways think that only strangers are abusers . It is such an one-sided vision.
Nowadays, perpetrators are possibly the accquaintances, relatives orfamily-members. According to an online survey, 73% of offenders were accquaintances,with 10% being fathers and step-fathers of victims (Vietnamlawmagazine.vn). Thesekinds of molester aim at innocent children because they understand thatchildren will not be wary of people they have already known. More specifically,at the beginning of 2017, an school-age female child living in Hoang Maidistrict, HaNoi, was disclosed to be maltreated sexually regularly by amiddle-aged named Cao Manh Hung. Another case happened in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, theoffender is an 77 years-old elderly and a girl aged 14 is victim.
When taken tocourt, he completely negated what he did to this girl and announced that hewould sue all of the people who put blame on him. It was a stigma for this man.The above are some representative cases exemplifying for an alarming rise inchild sexual abuse across the country.2.
2.Culprits of child sexual abuseTherewere numerous reasons attributing to the rising of child sexual abuse cases:lack of parental supervision and sex-education.2.2.1. ParentsTheinitial responsibility belongs to parents.
Dizzying pace of contemporary lifehas stolen a variety of Vietnamese parents of time with their families. Theyare up to their ears in work, deadlines, to-do lists etc. They always keep up tryingwith an aim to bring their children the most prosperous life. They seldom makeroom for their leisure time to relish with their kids. Because of not receivingenough attention from parents, children are prone to suffer this kind ofharassment. With the booming of technologies such as Internet and socialnetwork, children who sometimes use these kind of communication to chat andmake online friends are targeted by sexual abuse molesters. However, parentsdid not acknowledge this potential risk. They put a firm belief on their kidsthat they are dilligent enough to cope with any spontaneous incidents.
Whenthey realized, they felt guilty of their neglect, but it was too late. A 10years old girl named Le Thi Nhat Linh has emigrated to Japan for 5 years,living with her parents and younger-brother, being a victim of child sexual abuseoccuring at the beginning of 2017. Linh was raped, assaulted and murdered by a40 year old man nearby her apartment when she was on her way to school. Theteacher informed Linh did not show up at school, so her missing was reported topolice by her dad. At the time of her disappearance, her father was busy atwork and her mother with younger brother flew back to Viet Nam for personalwork. A couple of days after missing news, her naked-body was found on thegrass nearby a drainage-ditch.
This was the valuable lesson for parents who arealways absorbed in working, taking less care of their children.2.2.2.
Lack of sex-education and slacken legislations.Children have not got sufficient information aboutgender and sex education. This shortcoming is considered to be a root of highernumber of child sexual abuse cases. Parents are too busy with their work; as aresult, they leave this kind of education for school to deal with or they mayfeel embarrassed when mentioning this aspect. School are supposed to be a mainchannel to disseminate children about sex and gender. Nonetheless, schools havenot made full use of school time to discuss this side. School are stillfocusing on studying normal lessons, disregard some social skills and issues.It is inevitable that Vietnamese teachers usually feel shy when talking about thisphenomenon, because they have never been trained to teach this field before.
Consequently, children are not aware of how to defend and protect themselveswhen being offended sexually.Lax laws also contribute to child sexual abuse. InViet Nam, when there is a victim involving child sexual abuse, beforecondemning abuser, legal process requires physical traces on a victim’sbody. In reality, it is impossible toacquire evidence on the victim’s body as required, especially when the culpritused hands or mouth to abuse a child. As a result, there is not enough evidenceto prosecute and perpetrators have not been punished rigorously. In othercountries, those who perpetrate sexually, unintentionally or deliberately,might be arrested immediately without any checking process on victim’s body . AViet Nam comedian was detained in the US on charges of child sexual abuse aftervictim’s announcement.
It creates loopholes and facilitate abusers to achievetheir goal.2.3 Impacts of childsexual abuse on children2.3.1. Mental healthChildren can undergo some consequences related tomental health after being harassed sexually. Firstly, they may suffer from somelong-term psychological traumas.
When being attacked sexually, the usualindicator in children is fear because they have never got involved in thissituation before. Moreover, some victims decide not to inform with theirparents about molesters for fear of being a shame of their family. They have toput up in silence by themshelves. If it is long-lasting, it will provokedepression and self-inferiority. Furthermore, children may find their incidentshumiliating, embarrassing, so it is possible for them to feel depressed.
Moremiserably, people think that sexual abuse is so disgraceful and unacceptable,children may be scorned and therefore receive withdrawal from communities,which makes them desolate from the surroundings. When being overwhelmed bysufferings, everything is at the end of the rope, children may resort to commitsuicide, as a last choice. Besides, after being harassed sexually, some casesmay involve in some illusion phenomenons. They always have nightmares in theirsleep and scream out unconsciously. They may be obsessed with what happened tothem, and this situation may be long-lasting. According to Zing onlinenewspaper, a young mother told psychological doctor in Children’s hospital HCMthat her little kid aged 5 years old had been bad-tempered recently and motherhad found out some weird actions of her daughter like putting her pillowsadjascent to private body.
Doctor concluded that those can be some signals ofdaunting resulting from child sexual abuse2.3.2. PhysicalhealthFroma healthy child, mentally and physically, after being harassed sexually, he/sheis sustaining both mental and physical injuries. With regard to physical wounds,children are found to have genital injuries and torn hymen. These sufferingsmay be associated with few serious diseases that will leave long-term impactson victims. Additionally, when children are compulsive sexually, it canunprotected by any safe measures; therefore, if perpetrators are positive tosome contagious illnesses, like HIV, children will be subject to infect withthem. Furthermore, some girls at school age are likely to become pregnantsunexpectedly.
This is genuinely dangerous for female children becomingsoon-mother at this age because some body parts are being underdeveloped, so bothyoung mother and her baby can be weakened and meet health-related diseases sofar. If any private parts of children have been inflamed for a long time sincebeing raped, it will increase the high risk of being sterile for girls (thatmeans they are not be able to have a baby) and influence on their futuremarriage directly. Another case in Ho Chi Minh city represents for theconsequence on physical health. A school age boy was taken to hospital in ahigh-fever status, and doctor diagnosed that he was infected with HIV 2.
4.Measures2.4.1. Government,local authorities and communitiesInrecent years, this kind of harassment has been increasingly complex in VietNam. In order to impede it, it is urgent for the government to take the primaryresponsibility. Government had better bring in more strict regulations and lawto stipulate this phenomenon, children’s right and duties, principles andmeasures to ensure the enforcement of children’s right, the responsibilities ofState agencies, organizations to exercise children’s rights and duties.
Moreover, local authorities and commnunities keep important roles. Regardinglocal authorities, they should reinforce the proganda aiming at increasingknowledge of child protection issues. Communities should not keep silentanymore and stop putting any prejudice on victims. Instead, communities oughtto join hand, help victims intergrate into society back to regain pace of dailylives.Forexample, with a chi2.4.
2. Individualsand parents.Itis suggested that school children should be equipped with adequate informationabout how to protect themshelves. Regarding victims, they should not keepsilent anymore, because offenders cannot be punished appropriately and they maydefy laws and repeat this activity when they get out of jail. In terms ofparents role, it is absolutely vital.
Both mother and father ought to take an active role in educatingchildren about the risk of child sexual abuse, especially sexual harassment.Moreover, they should tell their children not to make acquaintance withstrangers without their knowledge or presence. It is advisable for parents thatthey should be friend with their kids, which makes children more open-mindedand comfortable to confide their feelings, emotions, experiences to theirparents, instead of avoiding it.