Albania gripped by scandals of sexual violence against children in schools

Albania gripped by scandals of sexual violence against children in schools

CRCA / ECPAT Albania, in cooperation with the authorities, take under protection the survivor of sexual violence and her family

Tirana, June 15, 2020 - About two weeks ago, for the Tirana Police, after a report of a 15-year-old girl, it was possible to arrest a group of 4 people, including two sexual predators and two teenage boys, who had threatened the victim. For several months, on the outskirts of Tirana, in a secondary public school, the guard of the institution, raped and threatened a teenage girl. By blackmailing the girl that he had intimate photos of her with other boys, and such a thing would become public, she managed to sexually rape the girl. The 65-year-old, now arrested, blackmailed the victim so she could have sex with a 20-year-old boy and later with two other teenagers, aged 15 and 16. All these encounters were filmed and started to be distributed through smart phones in social networks and among male friends. Although the final number of how many times the videos of the rape have been shared is not known, it was a known fact that people in the area where the girl was living knew of the crime, but never reported it.

The story was reported anonymous also to the National Child Helpline, who required the support of the National Platform on Child Internet Safety to review the video online and then report it to the authorities. It took several weeks of exchanges between ISIGURT.AL and the Police to be able to identify the perpetrators and after almost of two months of work pedophile network was arrested. The case continues to be under investigation as the profile that showed the rape video in question had many followers who not only did not denounce it but also asked that sexual violence against the girl to continue.

Upon the arrest of the four predators, CRCA and Barnahus Albania experts immediately provided psycho-social services for the victim, supporting her with all the necessary aid and services, as well as equipping the girl with a computer, to enable her to attend online school.

The event received a lot of attention, as the media began to provide details from the life of the 65-year-old who is thought to have abused other girls in the area too. Education institutions sought to bypass their responsibilities for this event which according to the media had taken place probably in the knowledge of the teachers and the community in the area.

CRCA/ECPAT Albania demanded the launch of a more in-depth and comprehensive criminal investigation into the case, including senior officials at the Ministry of Education. A day later, the Ministry of Education decided to dismiss the school principal without giving any motive for his departure.

The phenomenon of sexual violence against children, especially by their teachers or school employees and in the premises of educational institutions, seems to be increasing these days in Albania. In less then a year almost 10 reports of child abuse were made against male teachers in Albania. The education authorities have taken very few measures to change this unacceptable reality that some children face while attending public education.

As a result of this situation, a massive protest of young people was held in Tirana few days later after the arrests, based on a call on Instagram from the peers of the raped girl. The protest was joined by thousands of citizens that marched along the main boulevard and square of Tirana to stop in front of the Ministry of Education. During the march in front of the Ministry, the youths demanded the resignation of the Minister of Education, labeling it as an "institution of shame", while demanding also stronger sentences against sexual predators.

 

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