Noting that summer is the peak time for sexual assaults against minors, authorities warned parents to be alert to potential dangers.
Statistics compiled by police and the Taipei City Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (DVSA-Taipei) show the highest occurrence of sexual assaults in the city in the past three years have been in May and June.
Center director Chang Mei-mei (張美美) said that of 484 cases last year, 117 occurred in May and June, 24 percent of the total. Authorities also said that nearly 80 percent of the perpetrators of sexual assault against minors are persons known to their victims.
“Youngsters are now on their summer holidays, and have lots of free time... We urge parents to provide guidance and be alert. Parents are advised to keep an eye on their children’s friends and to monitor Net surfing and on-line gaming,” Chang said.
Since the start of the year, the center has received 297 reported cases of sexual assault, of which 56 percent involved minors. Most victims were junior or senior high school students.
Of these, 34 percent involved under-16s in consenting sexual relationships, but as they have not reached the legal age of consent (16), the relationships violate Article 277 of the Criminal Code.
Wang Shu-fen (王淑芬), director for The Garden of Hope Foundation, says sexual assaults of minors are more common in summer.
“Most often they are date-rape incidents. Another source of danger is when minors make friends on the Net and then meet up with them in person,” she said.
“When dating someone, it’s important to know the person well. Always go out in groups to get a chance to gauge a person’s personality and behavior,” Wang said.
DVSA-Taipei is organizing an online quiz to raise awareness on the prevention of sexual assault (www.dvsa-taipei.org). The quiz is aimed at helping youngsters learn how to better protect themselves, with 200 chances to win prizes.