CYPRUS: They expose their sexual abuse to teachers

A percentage of 30% of the reports made for such incidents to the Police are forwarded by the schools.

sexual harassment school Teachers, complaints, sexual abuse

Teachers are people who trust children to a great extent, so as to confess to them that they have been victims of sexual abuse. This is due to the fact that teachers are probably the professional group from which most relevant complaints come.

This point was made by the president of the "Voice" Council, Anastasia Papadopoulou, in the context of a conference of the Ministry of Education on sex education in schools and the actions promoted to strengthen and upgrade it. According to Ms. Papadopoulou, the teachers are the ones who are close to the children and develop a relationship of trust with them, something that helps the students to reveal what is happening to them. If one considers that about 85% of child sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by the close family or friends of the children, one realizes the important role that the school has to play in the field of protection and shielding of students.

As it was said at the conference from data that have been recorded, it is estimated that a percentage of 30% of the reports made for such incidents to the Police and other competent Services, are forwarded by the schools.

This is one of the goals of the Ministry of Education, which especially this year has emphasized the sexual education of pre-primary and first grade children, in order to inform them accordingly and the peculiarities of their age and to protect them from abusive behaviors.

According to the Minister of Education, Prodromos Prodromou, the Council of Ministers on October 8 approved the three-year Action Plan 2021-2023, which prioritizes the Ministry of Education, the protection of children from the phenomenon of sexual abuse and exploitation and recognizes its importance. prevention. "In this context, this school year, the whole effort is intensified and strengthened. "The Ministry of Education has taken the decision to further upgrade the effort made in schools for the sexual education of children, focusing on young ages", said Mr. Prodromou.

The actions for further strengthening of the sex education in the Pre-Primary and in the XNUMXst grade of Primary School start from the Directorate of Primary Education, which has prepared specific didactic proposals in a clear and targeted way, on which the teachers will be trained and then the students will be taught. .

The implementation of the educational material is scheduled to start in November, with the time period coinciding with November 18, which, according to the Minister of Education, is the European Landmark Day for the Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse.

The implementation schedule of the actions is as follows:

>> November: Staff meeting in all school units for the fairy tale "Kiko and hand" and teaching of the fairy tale in Pre-Primary and XNUMXst grade.

>> December: Publication of the Guide "We say NO" for the Pre-Primary and XNUMXst grade of Primary School.

>> January - April 2022: Pancyprian Training and implementation of didactic proposals included in the above Guide.

"The Rule of Underwear", the "secrets" and the touches

A basic rule that will be taught to young children is "The Lingerie Rule", which helps to empower and protect children from sexual abuse. This rule states that "no one may touch or caress the child in those parts of his body which are normally covered by his underwear. Accordingly, children are not allowed to touch the bodies of others in these places either. "

The conference stressed that by enhancing sex education at an early age, children will learn, among other things, about the good and bad secrets, about the good and bad touches, about their privacy, to say "no" even when they do not want to be photographed, but also to develop a security network with trusted people, to whom they can reach out and talk.

It is worth noting that the "Voice" Council will continue its cooperation with the Ministry of Education on these serious issues. As early as tomorrow, the two organizations, together with the organization "Hope for Children", will present information material for the prevention of sexual abuse of children and adolescents.