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September 26, 2017

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Sex abuse cases on boys see tenfold rise: survey

By Joseph Yeh--A Ministry of Interior (MOI) survey released yesterday indicates that sexual abuse and assault cases on Taiwanese underage males have seen a tenfold increase over the past decade — a phenomenon that deserves public attention.

According to the survey which was released during an international seminar held yesterday in Taipei, reported cases on sexual abuse and assault cases on local underage males have raised steeply from 81 in 2002 to 910 in 2011.

Among these cases, around 60 percent of the male victims were below the age of 18, Deputy Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said at the seminar.

Although only 1 percent of all victims in reported sexual assault cases in Taiwan are males, Chien said the finding is extremely alarming and deserves public attention.

The MOI deputy minister said the survey also shows that about 80 percent of these victims are sexually assaulted by acquaintances.

Underage males and females fall prey to sexual assault or abuse more easily because they usually lack self-protection awareness, the deputy minister added.

Furthermore, Chien said the total reported sexual assault cases have seen a 25.7-percent increase between the 2010 and 2011.

The number of reported cases also saw a 17.6-percent raise between January to June this year compared to the same period last year, he added.

Speaking at the same seminar, Lee Mei-chen (李美珍), a secretary of the MOI's Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Committee, said the significant increase in male sexual abuse cases might have something to do with the fact that many of the previously unreported cases have only recently come to light.

She also pointed out that local governments have been working toward the prevention of female victimization, while mostly ignoring the fact that underage males are also susceptible to sexual victimization.

John Woods, a visiting child psychotherapist from the United Kingdom, said during yesterday's seminar that children who have been sexually abused and assaulted could exhibit the following symptoms — sleeping problems, bullying, etc.

Parents should seek professional assistance if they believe their children have become victims of sexual abuse, Woods noted.

Parents should also help their young to understand their body and sexuality in an open and trusted way so that they can develop a healthier relationships with others in the future, he added.

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