Among the many challenges that left behind children face, sexual abuse is a prominent issue. Horrifyingly enough, much of the abuse is occurring in elementary schools. According to a BBC article, this past May yielded no less than eight sex abuse cases within a 20 day period in Jiangxi province alone, and all of the crimes were committed in schools.
Unfortunately, professionals believe that the sexual abuse cases that are exposed are only a small portion of the actual amount. “Behind every reported sex abuse case, there might be six hidden cases unreported,” says Wang Dawei, criminologist in the People’s Public Security University of China. Part of the problem, he explains, is that many rural schools are not properly teaching sex education. Without the knowledge, many children may not even realize when a sex crime has been committed against them.
A shocking event that occurred this past month brings this issue to life. A 62-year-old school teacher was arrested after he sexually abused six schoolgirls ages eight and nine, giving each of them HPV. All six of the children were left behind. After the incident, when reporter Mimi Lau asked them what they wanted most, they simply replied that they wanted to see their moms.
“The incident has shocked the nation and served as a wake-up call about child sex abuse in the country, particularly involving left-behind children,” says Mimi Lau in her article for South China Morning Post.
For left behind children, the “traumatic impact is worse, as they are often neglected and lack parental love. They tend to develop trust and intimacy issues and often lack a sense of security,” says Dr. Lin Xiuyum, associate professor of psychology at Beijing Normal University. Unfortunately, because LBC grow up with little supervision, they are more likely to become victims of sexual abuse.
What solutions can be made for this heartbreaking issue?
Lau, Mimi. “Left behind and Sexually Abused: The Peril of China’s Migrant Children.” South China Morning Post, 26 Aug. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.
Wu, Yuwen. “The abuse of China’s ‘left-behind’ children.” BBC News, 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.