A video of a 5-year-old girl allegedly being molested by her father on a train has sparked much outrage. More so, because police have stopped investigating the matter, saying the father’s actions were not illegal.
Little girl allegedly molested by father on train
The widely-shared video, captured by a female passenger on a train in Jiangxi province, south China, shows a man fondling a little girl.
He is seen lifting her shirt, caressing and rubbing her back, and kissing her neck and face repeatedly.
If we look closely, we can also see him sliding his hand into the child’s pants.
The little girl is heard saying, “Daddy, I’m in pain. Stop touching my bottom.”
His wife and mother-in-law were apparently sitting next to him during the train journey, but both were too busy with their phones to notice and react.
The witness who took the video sent it to a local newspaper and complained about the incident to police.
Authorities started investigating the issue only after the video went viral. Police later released a statement via Weibo that the man (referred to by his surname Zhou) and girl in the video were father and daughter.
However, according to the police investigation, the man’s actions, “does not constitute molestation and could not be deemed illegal. We sincerely thank citizens for their concern.’
The statement sparked anger and disappointment among netizens.
“An adult man lifts up a child’s clothes on public transport, kissing and licking the girl. If this doesn’t count as molesting, what does?” asked a netizen.
Wang Zhenyu, a lawyer at Beijing-based Yipai Law Firm, has been quoted as saying, “The police may have concluded that because it was a father and daughter, the act did not constitute molestation. If that’s so, it’s illogical. Fathers can molest or even rape their daughters.”
“However, they might mean that, while investigating, they found because they are father and daughter, the action did not involve sexual desire.”
Intra-familial Sexual abuse
This case is disturbing mainly because the little girl had no idea that she was being sexually abused. She trusted her father completely.
The sad truth is that most child sex abuse cases are committed by acquaintances or relatives of the victims. In case of abuse within families, the victim might also find it harder to disclose the truth because she:
Is unaware that it is abuse
Abuse does not always have to be painful, so the victim may have been gently coerced into the act.
And in the disturbing scenario that the abuse has been happening for a long time, ever since the victim was young, she may even have been led to believe that the abuse was part of normal interaction and love between family members.
The abuser may confuse the victim with questions like, “How can you say that you were abused when you enjoyed it?”
Again, the lack of pain may be misleading, and the pleasure, too shameful to reveal.
Has been promised “rewards”
The abuser may have promised to give the victim “rewards” or “gifts” if she kept their “special relationship” a secret.
Little children are often vulnerable to fall for such promises. The child herself is confused about what has happened, and whether it was right or wrong.
She might feel “special” and comforted by all the attention and the gifts.
It may be love and loyalty towards her relative and the fact that the revelation would get him into trouble. The victim may also have been told that no-one would believe her if she revealed the truth.
Or she may even have been threatened by the abuser, with dire consequences.
- Is worried about her parent(s)
Many victims worry that the painful revelation would be too much for their parent(s) to handle.
Also, the assumption that things that happen within a family should be kept “private” often deters victims from disclosing the truth.
Protecting children from sexual abuse
Every parent must take steps to educate and protect their child from sex abuse. Here are some pointers:
Show interest in her day-to-day lives. Ask her what she did during the day and what games she played after school. Know who your child is spending time with, including other children and adults.
Teach your children about private parts from a young age. Use proper names for each body part. It eliminates a lot of confusion. Feeling comfortable using these words and knowing what they mean can help a child talk clearly if something bad has happened.
Explain the meaning of private parts
Tell your child why only some parts are called “private”. It is because they are not for everyone to see. Only mummy and daddy, and maybe a doctor in the presence of a parent is allowed to look at them. Not even friends or relatives they know well.
Explain “good touch” and “bad touch”
Be clear. Explain that no one should touch their private parts and that they should not touch any one’s private parts as well. Also, no one should be allowed to take pictures of private parts.
Never force your child to gives hugs and kisses to relatives, friends or other acquaintances.
Most paedophiles will tell the child to keep the abuse a secret – either lovingly or using a threatening tone. Explain to your child that no matter what happens, she should confide in you. That she will never get in trouble for telling you the truth, even if it was about her parent.
If she feels something “bad” happening, she must learn to say “No!” and try to leave the area immediately.
Tell your child that if an adult — including family members — asks her to do something that makes her uncomfortable, it’s okay to not obey that adult. Even if it’s someone she knows very well.
Choose caregivers carefully
Whether it’s a babysitter or a maid, be diligent about screening caregivers for your child.
Incidents of sexual violence are frequently covered by the news and portrayed in television shows. Discuss them proactively with your child, ask questions like, “What would you do?”
More than the physical symptoms, emotional or behavioural signs are more common. Watch out for:
- Changes in behaviour, such as an increase in angry outbursts, withdrawal, etc
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Sleeping issues such as nightmares
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, welts or marks on the bodies
- Showing anxiety about being alone with a particular person
- Displaying age-inappropriate behaviour, or sexual knowledge/language
Helplines to report child sexual abuse in Singapore
Here are some helplines in Singapore useful for parents and teenagers looking for counselling:
- Child Protection and Welfare Services (MSF): For reporting of child abuse – 1800-777 0000
- Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): Provides emotional support to those who are in despair or distressed – 1800-221-4444
- Youthline : Champions youth causes – 6336-3434
- Pregnancy Crisis Service: Unwed teenagers who face unplanned, unwanted pregnancies can call for help – 6339-9770
- Teen Challenge: Provides faith-based and community-based programmes and services – 1800-829-2222
- Touchline: Provides counselling to troubled teens and youth 1800-377-2252
- eCounselling Centre (eC2): An online facility offering free counselling to youth – 6787 1125
- MeToYou Cyber Care: A cyber wellness programme for youth aged 12-18 years old – 6274 6904 / 9173 1766
- Tinkle Friend: For primary school students, especially children who are alone at home, who need someone to chat with or discuss problems with – 1800-2744 788
Also READ: Father sexually abuses his three daughters, aged 1 to 5
(Source: NextShark, CCTV, Weibo, SCMP)