(The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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More than 4 percent of children in Lebanon have been victims of sexual abuse and the matter has been considered a cultural taboo for too long, a report released by the Ministry of Social Affairs said.The study, conducted by main researchers Dr. Bassima al-Munla and Maher Abu Shakra and assisting researchers Dr. Susan Menhem and Alaa Nehme, used a random sample of 2,162 children from different social and cultural backgrounds, between 9 and 17 years old – the age span most prone to sexual abuse.The study found that out of 2,162 children, 89 were victims of sexual abuse (48 girls and 41 boys) – approximately 4.1 percent. Of these, 47.2 percent were children enrolled in public schools, and 21.3 percent attended private schools, while 60.4 percent of the victims were aged 10 to 14 . Online abuse is one of many various forms of sexual exploitation, including verbal abuse (the most common form of abuse, which 43 percent of children claimed to have experienced), physical contact without performing a sexual act, visual abuse, and direct sexual acts.
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