Child sexual abuse at critical level, minister says

Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Susana Yembise said on Thursday that child abuse was at a critical level, particularly in regard to sexual abuse.

“Violence toward children is increasing everywhere. Indonesia is facing an emergency over violence against children,” said Yohana as quoted by

This horrendous leaves the public wondering what makes someone sexually abuse a child, said Anna Surti Ariani, a children’s and family psychologist.

“Someone’s inability to control his sexual urges may lead to child sexual abuse,” Anna told on Thursday.

She further said that when someone’s wife worked in another city or country, he may find ways to meet his sexual needs, such as by sexually abusing children.

Anna said that besides the inability to control himself, a child molester may have been sexually abused as a child and as an adult wanted to take revenge on other kids.

Because sexual abuse was not inflicted solely by adults but also by children, Anna said it could be presumed that a lack of sex education for children was one of the causes.

“A child who sexually abuses another child may not understand the effect of his conduct. Maybe he was only imitating what he saw in a video game or pornographic movie,” Anna asserted.

The children who still sleep with their parents may also imitate their parents having sex, she said.

Although it is common for children to sleep with their parents in Eastern culture, Anna suggested that from the age of three or four, depending on the child’s psychological state, parents could urge their children to sleep in their own rooms.

She added that even though a specific character of the child molester could not be seen by the naked eye, parents should be wary of anyone who was uncommonly kind to their children. For example, she said, a person who often gives gifts to a child but then makes the child feel uncomfortable and keep secrets from its parents.

Anna also urged parents to remain close to their children and educate them about sex.

“Sex education should be given to help kids avoid sexual abuse. Basically, parents and even schools can teach children to appreciate their bodies by keeping them clean and not letting anyone touch their genitals. If someone attacks them sexually, they should scream or run away fast to avoid the culprits,” she said.