MOH News
Ms. Wafaa Asiri: “Children Deprived of Affection Are More Prone to Sexual Abuse”
28 January 2014
The Head of the Kindergarten Unit at the Ministry of Education Office, Ms. Wafaa Asiri, has revealed that the child deprived of affection is more prone to sexual abuse. “The sexual abuse could take the form of verbal behavior, by citing sexual expressions in the presence of the child, or it may take a physical form, by touching the child’s private parts, profane touching of his/her body, or allowing him/her to watch obscene porno clips or images,” pointed out Ms. Wafaa.
She went on adding that “the physical effects appearing on the sexually abused child can be easily detected by the medical examination, while the psychological impacts are recognized through changing in his mood, behavioral disorders or propensity to aggression, aconuresis, or the onset of sexually-oriented behaviors. Furthermore, Ms. Wafaa indicated that if the child is sexually abused at a young age, especially incest, this may cause disorder in his notions, ethics and beliefs.”
This hosting came as part of the health awareness week activities on the “Child Sexual Abuse”, carried out by the Ministry of Health (MOH), through the National Center for Media and Health Awareness, which will last for three consecutive days, coinciding with the beginning of the second semester of this school year. In this spirit, the Center hosted Ms. Wafaa Murya'a Asiri, the Head of the Kindergarten Unit at the Ministry of Education Office, via the Center’s toll free number: 8002494444, and the MOH account on Twitter: @SAUDIMOH; to answer the callers’ inquiries on the way to prevent the child sex abuse as well as some other related issues.
In replying to a question about the role of the school administration and the student advisor to get rid of this phenomenon, Ms. Wafaa said: “Any complaint from any student shouldn’t be overlooked by the teacher, the advisor or the director. Besides, the student should be acquainted with the ways to defend themselves against any types of harassment by means of three common steps: a) say "No" loudly, b) leave the place at one, and c) tell someone you trust. In addition, it is very important to provide the parents and students with awareness lectures about the physical protection, and the non-Arabic awareness books tackling the physical protection should be translated into Arabic and be available and accessible to all. Moreover, it is very important not to leave the girl/boy student aged 4 to 15 years alone with the driver at school, except if the child has at least two other in his/her company.”
As for the role of mass media in this regard, Ms. Wafaa said: “It is very important to offer awareness programs, via mass media, for children and adolescents, showing them how to achieve physical protection against sexual abuse, as well as the need to determine the ages of the children allowed to watch the movies, and to repeat this note over and over again during the show. It is no less important to present programs targeting children; to help them divulge whenever exposed to sexual abuse.”
Within the same vein, Ms. Wafaa underscored: “The educators (family, mosque and school) should instill and promote the culture of the physical protection and its basics, which can be achieved through preventing children from staying overnight with relatives, preventing children from staying together alone, avoiding travelling and leaving children with relatives, forbidding the girl from wearing attractive clothes in front of her male relatives, keeping children's propriety in public places, avoiding wearing short or transparent clothes, banning children from riding alone with a driver, prohibiting the girl from staying alone with anyone, even with her male relatives, in a private place.”
With regard to the influence of social networks in the increase of sexual abuse cases among children, Ms. Wafaa recommended: “Access to the internet must be available only in an open areas at home, such as the lounge or the living room. Meanwhile, parents must keep pace with modern technology and get acquainted with the social networks; in an endeavor to follow up with their children, and to ensure the strict safety mode against porno websites, especially if the child has a cell-phone.”
Furthermore, Ms. Wafaa has highlighted: “Since the bedtime is one of the most enjoyable times for the child, it is preferable for the mother to sit beside him/her, listening without uttering any questions or comments while telling the events of his/her day, unless she felt that the child would like her to comment. She, also, should not reproach him/her for any action. Rather, she had better thank and kiss him at the end of the talk, expressing that she enjoyed it a lot.”
Finally, the Head of the Kindergarten Unit at the Ministry of Education Office advised mothers by saying that they “must not tolerate anyone, whatever the degree of his kinship, trying to endanger her child’s security, by deterring that person, and keeping the child completely away from him. And if the child fell a victim to sexual abuse, she should not neglect visiting a specialist to examine her child; trying to alleviate the impact of such a notorious assault upon him/her.”
Within the same vein, the Center will host Ms. Laila Ali Wahbi, a Social Worker, tomorrow, Wednesday, 29th January, 2014 (corresponding to 28th Rabie‘ Al-Awwal, 1435 H), from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., via the Center’s toll free number: 8002494444; to talk about the way to help the child hone his capabilities.
This comes as part of the health awareness efforts carried out by the Ministry to promote the health awareness among the community members of all groups and segments, and in continuation of the MOH educational activities and events all year around, it has launched, coinciding with the beginning of the second semester of this school year, an educational program about the child sexual abuse. Within the same vein, the Center will host a group of specialists via the Center’s toll free number: 8002494444; to talk about the way to prevent sexual abuse, and the main behavioral and psychological harms, as well as providing parents and relevant people with tips on how to educate their children and help them to develop their abilities.

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