call for increased street patrols to stop abductions

“About 200 cases of child rape are reported annually from the Saudi capital,” said Dr. Hussein Bahashwan, an official of Riyadh’s health department.
“Child rape is, of course, one of those horrible new crimes that Saudi society is facing,” Saleh Al-Khathlan, deputy chief of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) in Riyadh, said on Thursday.
“The way to minimize and possibly eradicate incidents of rape and sexual abuse is to apply severe and prompt punishments.”
Al-Khathlan also called on parents to be aware of the tricks used by people to lure underage boys and girls so they can sexually abuse them.
“Parents must be educated on how to protect their kids,” said the NSHR official. Domestic violence, including child rape and abuse, accounts for 22 percent of 5,600 domestic abuse cases reviewed by the NSHR annually.
Referring to the nature of Saudi society, where it is believed the majority of rape cases go unreported, the NSHR official said, “Society today is more complicated and trust in strangers is naturally eroding.”
There have been several cases of sexual abuse in which foreign workers, including domestic aides were involved. He called on government agencies, mainly police, to intensify patrols of remote and desolate areas as well as crowded malls.
In Riyadh alone, 404 teenage boys and 179 girls have been reportedly raped and tortured over the past three years, said Bahashwan, whose observations were recently published in a section of the Saudi media.
“These cases involved mostly rape, physical and sexual torture, family violence and other incidents and some of them resulted from family negligence,” he said, while referring to the growing number of rape cases in which those close to the victims such as friends and relatives have also been involved.
“Victims regularly do not report crimes to police, largely because they fear the social consequences and also because sometimes they do not themselves understand that they have just been a victim of a crime,” said a Saudi social worker on the condition of anonymity.
He called on security agencies to set up helplines for reporting such cases with full confidentiality. The proposed helpline would offer services to young boys and girls including their families across the country, he suggested.
The majority of crimes involving sexual violence are committed by men and it is increasing at a faster rate than any other violent crime in the Kingdom, he noted.
In one such case recently, an Asian driver was arrested for showing pornographic films on his mobile to female students. In another case reported Wednesday, a father had raped his daughter for nearly nine years until she decided to report him to the police when she turned 19. The father will stand trial next week, according to a report posted on Sabq site.
In another incident, a Saudi court sentenced two men to six months in prison and 240 lashes each for kidnapping a boy and trying to rape him a few weeks back. In another well-publicized case in Riyadh, a Syrian man was arrested for trying to rape a girl at his shop during the call for prayers.

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