The recent murders of children around Turkey has prompted the family and social policies minister to take new steps to protect their offspring, including teaching them to scream better to warn of any assailants.
“Just like how they should know that their hands will burn when they reach for fire, they should also know how to behave when they meet a stranger,” Family and Social Policies Minister Ayşenur İslam said at a press conference on April 30.
The press conference came just a day after two children were found dead after going missing days ago in two separate cases.
“We need to educate families,” İslam said, noting that this education had already started.
“All families should show unconditional love for children. All of our children need to know that their families are there for them. They need to know that they should appeal to their families in all kinds of troubles,” said the minister.
“Another thing which children should learn at very early age is protecting their distance from strangers. I can teach a very simple thing to families. They need to teach children to scream. Our children need to scream in order to make their environment aware when they face a situation which they do not want,” İslam said.
“This is not a defense. We are talking about children whom we grew up saying ‘Hold on my child, keep silent.’ No, children should make noise,” she said.
Noting that she discussed the issue with both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ, İslam said a bill amending penalties for sexual abuse and assault was on the agenda of the Justice Ministry. The bill will proportionately increase the punishments for sexual crimes committed against both children and adults, she added.
“The bill is based on the judgment that the mental health of a child who has been abused is harmed,” she said, noting that it would also involve legal restrictions preventing a perpetrator who has committed a sexual crime from approaching children for the rest of their lives. Forced marriages will also be penalized, she said.