Magazine that successfully brought attention to underage marriage in the kingdom says child sexual abuse still not criminalised
A Saudi magazine has launched a campaign against child abuse in a bid to pressure authorities to criminalise child sexual abuse.
Saudi Arabia does not have a law against sexual abuse, although there is some protection for children by the Shoura Council and legislation against abuse and assault. Sayidaty Magazine said its “White Campaign”, which will run for three months, aims to also raise awareness of child abuse as well as teach parents how they can protect their children.
It was launched with the support of the National Family Safety Program (NFSP), an agency established by King Abdullah in 2005 to raise public awareness about child abuse and domestic violence, and assist abuse victims.
“Sayidaty took it upon itself to talk in absolute transparency about this issue. We talk about painful stories and harsh experiences forced upon children who grew up in an awful world of silence, marring their innocence and scarring their childhood dreams,” Sayidaty Magazine editor in chief Mohammed Fahad Al Harthi told Arab News.
Sayidaty Magazine has previously run a campaign against underage marriage, during which more than 10,000 people signed a petition that was presented to parliaments and legislative bodies in several Arab countries.
Earlier this year, the kingdom’s first advertising campaign against domestic abuse was launched, backed the King Khalid Charitable Foundation.
The image featured a close-up of a woman wearing a niqab with one of her eyes visibly bruised and the words: “Some things can’t be covered – fighting women’s abuse together.”
Last month, Saudi Arabia also has passed historic legislation criminalising domestic abuse for the first time, as well as establishing treatment and shelter for victims.