A total of 340 sexual abuse cases involving children under 14 were reported by media across China in 2015, according a survey released on Wednesday by the Girls' Protection program under

the China Foundation of Culture and Arts for Children.

According to the survey, a significant number of victims were very young. Most victims - up to 70 percent of them - were children between 7 and 14 years old, but 17 percent of the victims were under 7 years old. The youngest victim was only 6 months old.

"Based on our survey, younger children are easier to control. Victims tend to be younger because of a lack of parental supervision," said Sun Xuemei, one of the founders of the program.

The survey also studied children's awareness of sexual abuse and sex education. Some 4,719 students were surveyed.

It found that more than 40 percent of children are uncertain about what parts of their bodies should be thought of as private, with 22 percent answering that their hands, face, month and hair were private parts.

Li Yifei, a deputy to the National People's Congress and the principal of No 1 Middle School in Jining, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, said the lack of proper education contributed to the tragedies.

"Girls have no idea how to protect themselves nowadays," Li said. "There was once a case in my hometown in which a father raped his daughter for more than a decade. They even had five children and abandoned them."

"If the family members are educated, and the girl has an understanding that what her father did was wrong, the tragedy might have been avoided," Li added.

The survey also showed that more than 70 percent of children had been sexually abused by a person with whom they were acquainted, including a family member, teacher or neighbor.

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(China Daily USA 03/03/2016 page4)


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