November 18 marks the Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. Sexual abuse and exploitation of children are serious violations of their rights, and the destructive consequences of these experiences are carried by the victims throughout their lives.
The investigations of Romanian journalists relate to the drama of children of 10, 13 or even 9 years old, being sexually abused and the indulgence with which the aggressors were treated. In the last two years, there have been 77 cases of sexual predators of minors who have not been sentenced to at least one day in prison. These predators are among us daily, among our children, and justice and society turn their heads and choose not to do anything, without understanding the risk we are exposed to.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Justice, in 2017, 296 cases of sexual offenses against minors were registered in court, twice as many as in 2014, when 155 cases were reported.
Sexual abuse of a child has serious effects throughout their life, such as negative feelings and emotional states, distrust in the people around them, sexual and general deviant behaviors, aggression, delinquency, even suicide. While in Romania sexual abusers receive a maximum of two – three years of imprisonment with suspension as punishment, in other countries of the European Union, such as Belgium or France, penalties of up to 30 years are granted. A political and judicial system that does not protect its citizens and does not punish its criminals leads to fear, distrust and frustration. We have a recidivism rate of 70%, but the Romanian state has not developed a coherent and competent system so that these cases do not repeat themselves.
One of the steps taken in this regard is an automated National Registry for such offenders. The initiative was adopted by the Senate, and now I need your support to prevent and combat the crimes that destroy the lives of dozens of children every day. The state should also increase the minimum punishment for the aggressor, provide social, psychological assistance and financial support for the families affected and prohibit the aggressor’s access to other minors in the family or to other minors in the professional life.
It is our duty to take these steps as soon as possible, so that every child in Romania has a chance at a decent life, without abuses and with solutions regarding the right to live a decent life. It is our duty to prove that we have # 0Tolerance for Violence.
Political statement dated November 14, 2018