102 female college students sent a joint letter to Party representatives, calling for concern about sexual assault on Chinese school girls.
The college girls, from various provinces, including Yunnan, Hubei, Sichuan, and Guangdong, sent the letter as the currently National People’s Congress was in session in Beijing. They asked 105 deputies to put pressure on the Department of Education and promote a system on campuses to prevent sexual assaults.
It is reported that eight deputies responded to the call, with some deputies promising to reflect their suggestions. Miao Jie, an NGO volunteer, said: “These college students are mainly concerned about young girls in middle schools and elementary schools. Sexual assault causes more serious damage to younger girls, and thus it deserves more attention.
“Sexual assault happens at college campuses too. What’s even more concerning is that underage girls become pregnant because of it, and we do not have a protective and supportive system for them, so the damage will be both physical and emotional. I believe their suggestions are for underage girls. They asked our state to set policies and directions to establish a system for that.”
The Chinese media quoted remarks from Liang Xiaowen—a cosigner of the joint letter—that last year there were 112 sexual assault cases involving school girls, of which perpetrators in 31 cases were faculty members in schools. Deputies should know their responsibilities regarding school safety.
Last year, a school principal sexually molested a group of young girls from his school in a hotel. Another award-winning teacher sexually harassed more than 20 young girls. These incidents caused an uproar. Civil rights activist Lu Jun believes that in the last two years, many civil organizations have made similar suggestions for establishing a preventive system in schools, but they’ve failed to rouse the attention of China’s education sector. “What is the real goal in China? What is important? There is no fair and effective punishment for those perpetrators, who dare to molest young girls,” said Lu Jun. “Officials can escape from punishment, and rich people can settle it with money. If we cannot control these scenarios, focusing on the protection of young girls is meaningless.”