Sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 will be treated as a sex crime and is punishable under the Criminal Code even if consensual, the Department of Protective Services said.
Responding to a report about the rape of a 12-year-old girl by a 26-year-old man who insisted that he did not know she was underaged and that the sex was consensual, the department cited the Criminal Code, which states that anyone engaging in sexual activity with a person aged 16 or under, irrespective of the latter’s consent, is criminally liable.
Ministry of Health and Welfare data show that about 60 percent of victims of sex crimes are under the age of 18, and most are junior or senior-high school students.
About 80 percent of the sexual assaults were committed by someone the victims knew, of which 5 percent are committed by people the victim met on the Internet, the agency said.
Chang Hsiu-yuan (張秀鴛), the director-general of the department, urged parents and teachers to teach self-protection to children and teenagers, and educate them about how to safely make acquaintance on the Internet.
Victims of sexual assault can call the police or the protection hotline 113 for professional assistance, and are advised to go to a hospital for immediate injury examination and evidence collection, Chang added.