Former film star Josephine Siao (inset) founded the End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation in 1998. Photos: Wikipedia, ECSAF

Most sexual abusers of children in Hong Kong are relatives of the victims, not  strangers, according to the End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation (ECSAF), a non-governmental organization. 

About 70% of parents mistakenly thought that the injuries to a sexually abused child would be visually apparent, while about one-third of them thought that “all abusers are strangers”, Headline Daily reported, citing a survey of 508 parents commissioned by the ECSAF and compiled by the Public Opinion Program of the University of Hong Kong between April 13 and May 12.

About 10% of the surveyed parents believed that women could not be abusers, Michelle Tam, executive director of the ECSAF, said in a media briefing on Tuesday. Parents should avoid these kinds of misconceptions, Tam said.

Of the 455 cases handled by the foundation over the past five years, a majority of the abusers were relatives of the parents’ family, while 9% were domestic workers, Tam said. Some abusers were tutorial-class teachers and some were other children.

More than 90% of the cases involved children under the age of six as they were unable to disclose the abuses, Tam said.

To educate parents and domestic helpers on how to protect children from sexual abuse, the foundation has launched a new pamphlet in four languages, namely Chinese, English, Indonesian and Tagalog, Oriental Daily reported.