Moms want abuse cases open to public

Moms want abuse cases open to public

The nation's growing number of cases involving sexual abuse of children has motivated six mothers to recently send more than 60 letters to police and education authorities in 32 provincial-level areas that request public disclosure of such cases.

The mothers are requesting public disclosure of case details involving the sexual abuse of children, including details of the investigations and punishments.

The six mothers are from Guangdong, Shanxi, Zhejiang and Henan provinces and Beijing. They met on an online forum on parenthood.

Most of the victims nationwide are between 8 and 14 years old, the group said.

A mother surnamed Ji from Zhejiang province said that according to the media, 125 cases of sexual assault of minors were reported in 2013, 31 of them occurring in school.

"I think the figure is conservative, and I dare not imagine how many such cases have taken place but never been reported in the media," Ji said.

"I want to know how many such cases actually took place across the country per year, how authorities have handled the cases, how the victims received their counseling and how they were treated by their teachers and classmates afterward."

On Monday, the Guangdong Public Security Department would not comment on a request for such information.

Some cases of sexual assault of minors have made national headlines.

In one case, a former school principal and former government clerk were sentenced in June 2013 to prison for raping primary school girls in Hainan province.

Chen Zaipeng, former principal of Wanning No 2 Primary School, and Feng Xiaosong, a former clerk in the city's property administration bureau, were arrested in May 2013.

Chen took four girls to a hotel, and Feng took two girls to another hotel on the evening of May 8, 2013. The girls were sixth-graders from 11 to 14 years old.

Chen was sentenced to 13 and a half years and Feng to 11 and a half - punishments that many local parents complained were too lenient.

Zheng Zhun, a professor in the Education Science department at South China Normal University, said the mothers' requests are reasonable and they have the right to ask officials to make the cases public.

"Many schools now pay a lot of attention to their teaching standards, but ignore the improvement of the quality of teachers and staff," Zheng said.

"Meanwhile, the ratio between male and female teachers is off balance in basic education, and the country currently lacks a system to test and judge qualified teachers."

Lin Yehan, principal of Nanfeng Zhongxin Primary School in Zhaoqing, Guangdong, said his school has introduced regulations banning male teachers from tutoring female students alone in any closed room.

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