Over 70 percent of the 8,288 people surveyed have expressed concern about child abuse, according to a recent annual report by Girls’ Protection. 81.6 percent of those surveyed were women, most of whom had children.
Since its launch in 2013 by hundreds of female journalists from all over China, the Girls’ Protection Project has been releasing the Investigation Report on Child Sexual Assault Statistics and Sexual Assault Prevention Education annually. Our previous analysis also draws on the 2021 report, which detailed the extent and trends of child sexual abuse cases in China that were covered by the media last year.
According to the 2021 report, 63.3 percent of the respondents have had some level of child sexual assault prevention education, with respondents saying that they received the education through a variety of mediums, including social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo (15.2 percent), written materials such as books and newspapers (15 percent), special lectures (12.4 percent), brochures (12.3 percent), films and other video materials (11.9 percent).
Although some people surveyed have never received such education, more than 90 percent of respondents believe that it is appropriate to provide children with sex education and sexual assault prevention education.
Girls’ Protection has conducted courses in 31 provinces across the country, trained a large number of volunteers, and cooperated with local procuratorates, education bureaus, women’s federations, youth league committees and other departments and organizations, which has greatly expanded the coverage of child sexual assault prevention education, with more than 5.93 million children now receiving the lessons via face-to-face teaching. Online training and lectures are also held regularly.
But considering there are more than 200 million children in China, Girls’ Protection is calling for the participation of more organizations and departments in preventing the sexual abuse of children. It also recommends that the education department further accelerate the promotion of such education and incorporate it into the country’s nine-year compulsory schooling as soon as possible.
Public awareness of laws and regulations related to child protection is low. However, nearly 80 percent expressed willingness to learn more, the report found.
The factors that respondents are most concerned about when it comes to sex education in schools include whether children are divided by age group, the qualifications of teachers, and whether teaching materials are standardized.