Fujairah campaign sheds light on sexual abuse

Pupils aged six to 12 have been given booklets about sexual abuse reporting.

FUJAIRAH // Children in the northern emirate are receiving classes on awareness about physical and sexual abuse.

Pupils between ages 6 and 12 were given booklets advising them to “learn to say no” to strangers, and how to report abuse.

The move is part of a childhood protection campaign launched by Fujairah Police and Furjairah Education Zone. It involved social workers and police officers visiting two primary schools last week.

Afnan Al Azazi, an English teacher at Sakamkam Boys’ School, said that the session was very useful for her pupils.

“The students obtained new knowledge regarding their safety and protection, it was a new subject to most of them. They started to realise that they shouldn’t expect good intentions from everyone. Being aware of the types of abuse, and especially sexual abuse, is important for their own safety,” she said.

“Some of them, especially the young ones, didn’t fully understand the meaning of the abuse but we explained it to them later on. We gave examples about inappropriate touching and how they should differentiate good from bad, and that they shouldn’t trust strangers, even if they were nice and offered some candy,” Ms Al Azazi said.

Pupil Zaied Ahmad, 7, said: “I learnt that I shouldn’t trust strangers and shouldn’t change clothes in front of them. If someone offered me chocolate I can’t take it before I ask my parents.”

The initiative is backed by the Ministry of Interior.

“The campaign is part of an ongoing process aiming to spread awareness among society about the sexual abuse phenomena and how to control and reduce it,” said Col Dr Jasim Khalil Mirza, director of security awareness and member of the Higher Committee for Child Protection. “Besides the school visits, we arranged for conducting several training sessions during the upcoming months targeting social workers across the Emirates, in which they will learn how to deal with and discover cases of harassment.”

rhaza@thenational.ae

Published: December 13, 2014 04:00 AM

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