UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

China

Sexual harassment common on Chinese campuses

Colleges urged to develop a procedure for filing sexual harassment complaints and handling incidents as quickly as possible

ucanews.com reporters, Hong Kong

ucanews.com reporters, Hong Kong

Updated: June 20, 2018 03:38 AM GMT
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Sexual harassment common on Chinese campuses

The campus of North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power in Zhengzhou in Henan province. A survey showed that more than 70 percent of Chinese university students had suffered sexual harassment. (Photo by AFP)

Share this article :
More than 70 percent of university students from all 34 provinces in China interviewed for a survey said they had encountered sexual harassment.

Guangzhou Gender and Sexual Education Center and Beijing Impact Law Firm jointly released a report called "Sexual Harassment on Chinese College Campuses" after an online survey held over a one-month period. 

Nearly 6,600 valid responses came from undergraduates or new graduates aged 18-22, mainly from cities such as Beijing and Shanghai and provinces such as Shandong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Sichuan, Shanxi, Hunan, Jiangsu and Hubei. 

Overall, 75 percent of female respondents and 35 percent of male respondents had experienced sexual harassment.

"Sexual minorities were more likely and more frequently to have experienced sexual harassment than heterosexual individuals," said Wei Tingting, a spokeswoman for the center.

The most common harassment involved sex-related jokes or topics, or displaying obscene texts or images (35 percent), staring erotically without consent (34 percent) and touching a person's body or private parts deliberately (33 percent).

Of the respondents who had experienced sexual harassment (4,523 people), Wei said, 90 percent referred to the offenders as male and 65 percent of them were strangers. Others were classmates (32 percent) and authoritative figures in colleges (9 percent). 

More than 50 percent of sexual harassment occurred in public areas off campus, while more than 40 percent took place in public areas on campus. 

Nearly half of victims (2,108 people) chose to remain silent about their harassment, while fewer than 4 percent of victims reported incidents to colleges or police. 

"In other words, for every 100 cases of sexual harassment, fewer than four cases were reported to colleges or police. And the main reason is they think it is useless," said Wei.

More than 30 percent of victims felt their self-esteem was hurt, while more than 10 percent felt the incidents severely impacted their personal relationships and social lives. 

"Victims who had experienced forced sexual contact had a higher prevalence of chronic depression and suicidal thoughts," Wei said. 

She said colleges should collaborate with police, counseling centers, NGOs and cause groups to provide students with comprehensive help in areas such as campus security, sex education, psychological support and legal support. This would prevent victims from suffering serious long-term consequences such as chronic depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, suicide attempts and suicides.

Nearly 49 percent of victims were dissatisfied with how their colleges handled cases, while more than 59 percent were dissatisfied with the police.

Wei suggested that colleges should develop a procedure for filing sexual harassment complaints and handling incidents as quickly as possible. 

"During the process, staff in charge should have an expert understanding of different aspects of sexual harassment, protect the privacy of victims and avoid secondary victimization," she said.

Wei said it was most important for colleges to keep incidents confidential and punish offenders in a serious manner.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution