The dark, moonless night reflected the thoughts of some 30 participants at child protection advocate Projek Layang-layang’s discussion session yesterday: everyone was talking about convicted UK paedophile Richard Huckle.
The session was called ‘Creating A Safer Malaysia For Children: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse’.
“Sex is a taboo in our country. Like my family, my parents might have been too embarrassed to ever discuss it with me,” a participant, who refused to be named, said during the session at the Pusat Rakyat Community Centre of the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) in Pantai Business Park, Kuala Lumpur.
That could be a reason why shame, secrecy and lack of education were the tools Huckle used to silence his victims and their families, as claimed by Projek Layang-layang in their press statement.
During the question and answer session chaired by the group’s representatives, which included activist G Thency, a discussion popped up about how Malaysian parents tend to let their guards down in certain environments because “we thought our children are safe there, in school or in kindergarten.”
Which was why the advocate group announced, through its statement, that it would conduct a further one-day worskhop, titled ‘Creating Safe Spaces For Children’, on June 25.
“It’s for adults concerned about the issue, and especially parents, teachers, child care-givers, guardians and representatives from institutions that have children under their care,” MCCHR said.
Details of this workshop at the Projek Layang-layang Facebook page at facebook.com/projeklayang2.