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Tougher action on child sexual abuse signaled

Updated: 07 06 , 2015 10:34
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Tougher action on child sexual abuse signaled

Students learn and practice self-defense skills at a school in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, in 2014. Sexual assaults on young girls have attracted widespread public and media attention in China in recent years. Meng Delong / for China Daily

A spate of headline-grabbing cases involving the rape and molestation of minors has prompted a review of the relevant legislation and school safety measures, and has placed greater emphasis on a lack of parental oversight, as Zhang Yan reports.

"If I had paid more attention to taking care of my only daughter, and had advised her to always be cautious in the presence of strangers, she wouldn't have been sexually assaulted," said Chen Lin (not her real name), whose 9-year-old daughter was repeatedly raped by a neighbor.

"The worst thing is that her mental health has been severely damaged. She tends to be silent and is afraid of contact with others. I don't know when she will come out of the shadows," Chen said, as tears rolled down her cheeks.

The case dates back to August 2013, when Chen divorced her husband and moved to Beijing from Henan province to open a small business selling fruit.

Because of the pressures of running her business, Chen regularly left the girl at a neighbor's home, where she would watch TV and wait for her mother to return in the evening. The neighbor, an unmarried man in his 30s, was also a migrant worker. He took the opportunity provided by Chen's absence to sexually abuse the girl several times. The attacks, which took place over the space of about a month, only came to light when Chen discovered a number of injuries on her daughter's body.

In March last year, the man was convicted of rape at Beijing Fengtai District People's Court and sentenced to eight years in prison. He was also ordered to pay compensation of 20,000 yuan ($3,220).