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Saturday July 13, 2024

Punjab to educate schoolchildren about sexual abuse

Students have to be sensitised on this issue, notification by the Department of School Education Punjab mentions

By Ummay Farwa
July 22, 2023
A blue ribbon representing child abuse awareness month. — Society for the Protection and Care of Children (SPCC)
A blue ribbon representing child abuse awareness month. — Society for the Protection and Care of Children (SPCC)

The Punjab government has decided to educate students about incidents of sexual abuse in schools across the province including the provincial capital, Lahore. 

The move has been initiated by the Department of School Education Punjab, which issued instructions to educational authorities across all provincial districts in this regard.

According to the department's notification, there is concern over the increasing cases of violence against children.

Punjab to educate schoolchildren about sexual abuse

Students, the notification read, have to be sensitised on this issue, while teachers and school heads should conduct lectures to prevent violence against children.

The department's notification mentioned that children will be educated about avoiding suspicious persons and on sexual harassment, while details regarding violence against children will be sought from students in schools across the province.

Rise in child sexual abuse instances

Earlier this month, the Punjab home department shared that more boys than girls become victims of such crimes, as the instances of sexual abuse of children rise.

A report compiled on the numeration of such cases from January to June 15, 2023, revealed that in a span of less than six months, 1,390 cases of child abuse were reported in the province — a harrowing number in itself but made worse by further revelations.

According to the report, around 69% (959 cases) of the reported cases involved minor boys, while the remaining 31% (431 cases) involved girls.

Yet more disturbing were revelations of the perpetrators.

Moreover, the report stated that of those facing trials, 55% were the victims' neighbours, 13% were relatives, and 32% were strangers.

Regarding the city-wise prevalence of child abuse cases, the report stated that most rape cases in Punjab were registered in Gujranwala, where 220 cases were reported.

Rawalpindi and Lahore reported the lowest rape cases at 69 and 89, respectively.

Furthermore, DG Khan reported 199 incidents; Faisalabad 186; Multan 140; Bahawalpur 129; Sheikhupura 128; Sahiwal 127; and Sargodha 103.