Introduce sex education earlier to better protect minors

It seems to me that rape cases involving minors are on the rise (Man jailed 34 years, caned for sexually abusing lover's daughter, Feb 27; and Man gets 28 years' jail, 24 strokes for raping stepdaughter, Feb 14).

I wonder if and how the Child Protective Service (CPS) under the Ministry of Social and Family Development is helping such victims.

As the police and school counsellors are usually the first points of direct contact with the victims, is there a procedure in place for them to contact CPS immediately?

I would also urge the Education Ministry to introduce sex education at an earlier age. The lack of knowledge about what had happened can be seen in the first report, when the victim "realised the acts were wrong only after attending sex education classes in Primary 5".

We need to equip our children with the knowledge of what is sexually inappropriate behaviour so that they can report it immediately and save themselves from further harm.

I am equally sickened to know that the mother of the victim mentioned in the first report was aware of the abuse but chose to do nothing. It is surprising that she has not been held accountable for her actions. More must and should be done to bring such abettors to justice.

Because of their young age, the victims might not have the courage or the understanding to take the first step in reporting their abusers. It is worse if the victims are shunned by their own family members.

Let us work towards creating a safer environment for our young to grow up in.

Donovan Chee Kwok Hoe

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2018, with the headline 'Introduce sex education earlier to better protect minors'. Print Edition | Subscribe