The Punjab government has taken a significant step to address the issue of sexual abuse in schools across the province, including Lahore, the provincial capital.Initiated by the Department of School Education Punjab, the government has instructed educational authorities in all districts to educate students about incidents of sexual abuse. This move comes as there is growing concern over the alarming increase in violence against children.
The department’s notification emphasizes the need to sensitize students on this critical issue. To achieve this, teachers and school heads will conduct lectures to prevent violence against children. The educational efforts will cover essential topics such as teaching children how to avoid suspicious individuals and recognize and report sexual harassment incidents. Furthermore, students will be encouraged to share any information they may have regarding violence against children in schools throughout the province.
Recent statistics on child sexual abuse in Punjab have shown a troubling rise in reported cases. According to a report from January to June 15, 2023, a staggering 1,390 cases of child abuse were documented in the province. Disturbingly, the majority of victims were boys, accounting for approximately 69% of the reported cases, while girls made up the remaining 31%.
The report also shed light on the perpetrators of these heinous acts. Among those facing trials, 55% were found to be neighbors of the victims, 13% were relatives, and 32% were strangers, making the situation even more disconcerting.
In terms of city-wise prevalence, Gujranwala reported the highest number of rape cases in Punjab with 220 incidents, followed by DG Khan with 199 cases, Faisalabad with 186, Multan with 140, Bahawalpur with 129, Sheikhupura with 128, Sahiwal with 127, Sargodha with 103, Rawalpindi with 69, and Lahore with 89 cases.
With this proactive step, the Punjab government aims to raise awareness and protect the well-being of students, fostering a safer learning environment in schools across the province.