Sexual abuse hotline planned

VietNamNet Bridge – A national hotline that would provide legal consultation and assistance to victims of sexual abuse and violence will be launched in the near future, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

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Dang Hoa Nam speaks Friday in HCM City about the establishment of a national hotline to help sexually abused victims. — Photo: VNS


Speaking at a workshop on sexual abuse held in HCM City on Friday, Dang Hoa Nam, director of the ministry’s Department of Child Care and Protection, said relatives and neighbours often did not know where to turn or whom to contact when a child was sexually abused. 

The department is working with the Ministry of Information and Communications to set up a national easy-to-remember number. “We will also amend legal regulations regarding forensic examinations and prosecution and help agencies seek evidence, investigate and prosecute as soon as possible,” he added.

A Government decree that comes into effect in July offers a new special judicial process and regulations that call for support of all costs for physical and psychological treatment and rehabilitation for victims of sexual abuse.    

Under the decree, every commune must have one employee specialising in child care and protection and prevention against sexual abuse and violence, he said.

“It will take a long time to reduce sexual abuse among children. In the next two or three years, the target will be difficult to achieve,” Nam said.

Tran Thi Ngoc Nu, head of the lawyers’ panel of the HCM City Association for Child Rights Protection, said that specialists investigating sexual abuse among children should be trained.

Doan Thi Vu Linh, deputy head of Thu Duc District’s Division for Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that many parents, especially migrant workers in wards Linh Xuan and Binh Chieu, take their children to neighbours’ homes during the day when they are working.

These children are at a risk of sexual abuse, and the number of sexual abuse cases occurring in the two wards remains high.

Around 1,000 child sexual abuse cases occur every year in the country, according to the Ministry of Public Security and UNICEF. 

VNS

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