The Hanoitimes - Vietnam’s Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) has taken many steps to ensure social welfare, protect human rights, particularly of women, and promote gender equality.
Some 11% of female pupils, 27% of female journalists, and 31% of female students have ever been sexually abused, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)'s recent survey carried out in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The information was cited at the forum, entitled “Sexual violence against women and girls: Gaps in legislation and supporting services”, jointly held by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) and the UNFPA in Hanoi on December 5.
Speaking at the event, MOLISA's Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha said that Vietnam has not rolled out a thorough study on violence against women and girls (physical psychological and sexual violence), but small surveys of some agencies and organizations show that about two thirds of women and girls suffer from violence.
Experts share ideas on legal gaps in handling sexual violence against women and girls. Photo: Vietnam+
In particular, over 1,100 cases of child sexual abuse have been recorded for the past time. Even in many cases, the culprit is the girls’ relatives.
Do Thi Thu Ha, head of UNFPA Vietnam, said that one in three Vietnamese women had suffered from sexual abuse. In particular, one third of girls and adolescents are forced to have sex, but only 2% of the victims dared to denounce and up to 65% of witnesses are "indifferent" to violent acts, they do not denounce or testify, Ha emphasized.
She added that the MOLISA has taken many steps to ensure social welfare, protect human rights, particularly of women, and promote gender equality.
Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha noted that in recent years, Vietnam’s prevention and control of violence against women and children has changed. More victims dare to denounce, social opinion and network community have also actively been on the side of the victims.
She stressed that to solve the issue of sexual violence, it is necessary to set up effective support services, including health care, psychological support, safety, legal aid, easy-to-find and accessible counseling system for victims.
In particular, people's attitudes about violence, sexual harassment, improvement of the existing legal system, attention to the introduction of all forms of violence against women and female children should be changed, Ha added.
However, the deputy minister admitted that it is more challenging to tackle and intervene in sexual assaults against women and girls compared with other forms of violence, as the victims often face lengthy processes for their cases to be taken on or settled, which has further raised public discontent.