x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Police launch campaign against child sex abuse

A campaign to teach parents, schools and children on how to deal with child sex abuse is to start today.

DUBAI // A police campaign featuring seminars by the Emirati racing driver Haytham Sultan aims to teach children, parents and teachers how to deal with child sex abuse.

The campaign, which launches today and runs until May 31, aims to tackle the taboo around the topic that police say stops victims and witnesses from coming forward.

"The campaign is to educate parents, schools and children on what is an acceptable touch and what is a violation," said Colonel Abed Al Rahim Mohammed bin Shefeq, the head of the anti-organised crimes department. He said that children will be taught "how to say no", while parents will be taught how to show affection so their children do not seek it from strangers. Teachers will be shown how to spot signs of abuse in their pupils.

Mr Sultan said it was his "duty as a sportsman" to host the seminars. "Children tend not to listen to police or parents but if an idol talks to them about something they listen with interest," he said.

Dubai Police said they investigated 11 child abuse cases last year.

wissa@thenational.ae