900 children sexually abused in Vietnam every year

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Around 900 children in Vietnam were sexually abused every year between 2006 and 2010, officials said at a Hanoi conference Thursday.

The children were victims of 800 sexual abuse cases per year during the period, which accounted for more than 60 percent of all children abuse cases, according to the statistics from the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Dang Hoa Nam, deputy director of the Department of Child Care and Protection at the labor ministry, said the children were abused mostly by people close to them such as brothers, stepfathers and neighbors, Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.

Getting drunk and watching porn also incited a small number of people to sexually abuse children, Nam said.

Most of the cases happened in remote and disadvantaged areas.

Nam said parents should also be blamed, as they failed to protect their children and easily trusted others with their children.

Vu Thi Le Thanh from UNICEF Vietnam said that touching children to arouse them is also an act of sexual abuse, which many parents do not know and they let others do that freely to their children.

Thanh said more boys are falling victims to sexual abuse, but the cases received little attention due to the social mindset that only girls are victims of the abuse.

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Officials at the conference said that child abuse in Vietnam, including children and fetus trafficking, is getting complicated, damaging the health and dignity of many children. But they said sexual abuse is the kind that leaves the heaviest physical and psychological damage.

"If the abused child does not receive attention early enough, they will become a parent who is incapable of protecting their children or even the one who sexually abuses other children to take revenge or because they consider that normal," Thanh said in the report.

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