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Tough measures eyed against sexual abuses Protect ‘special needs people

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 8: Harassment is among the thorny issues affecting all segments of society and sects, including those with disabilities. The phenomenon which takes many forms deters many parents from bringing it up or even filing report when their children, especially those with intellectual disabilities are harassed or sexually or physically abused, because of the sensitive nature of the subject, reports Al-Qabas daily. In this context, a security source disclosed that few numbers of cases involving persons with disabilities have been registered in the police stations because the subject is sensitive, while it is difficult to trace any kind of abuse against disabled people - except in rare cases.

Also, an educational researcher warned that 99 percent of abusers are first-degree relatives of the victims. He demanded tougher legal measures against those who abuse people with special needs, because current punishments are not deterrent. Professor in Psychology Dr Khidr Barron said sexual harassment affects people with mental disabilities and their relationship with others, adding the victim generally feels weak, tense and frustrated because he is unable to protect himself.

He also feels that he is targeted and exploited due to his disability. Dr Barron pointed out that the victims of sexual abuse, particularly those with disability, suffer from introversion plus other psychological related symptoms such as loss of appetite, nightmares and lack of participation in social activities. He called for tougher laws that impose severe punishments against abusers to protect the category from sexual or physical abuse, adding the category needs companionship. He criticized the attitude of some parents who keep silent after their children have been subjected to sexual harassment because of the society and its customs and traditions. He called for parents to defend their children, stand by them, and protect them

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