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612 child abuse cases recorded by Social Welfare Department

October 30, 2015 5:18 am

A total of 612 child abuse cases have been received by the Department of Social Welfare from January to August this year.

Teenage pregnancy tops the list recording 122 cases whereas 117 cases were recorded for sexual abuse. Ninety-seven cases were recorded for child neglect while 88 cases were recorded for physical abuse.

Twenty-four cases were received for severe malnutrition while 19 cases were recorded from victim of parental conflict.

Meanwhile, Director Social Welfare Rupeni Fatiaki says parental neglect has been the main cause of sexual abuse recording a 34 percent.

Launching the prevention of child abuse and neglect celebration in Suva today, Minister for Women Rosy Akbar says parents and guardians must take responsibility as they have a special role to play.

“Many cases go unreported so our job is to ensure we advise communities as to where reports could be launched, what steps could be taken what help is available along the line and we shouldn’t allow families and children to suffer and sadly a lot of reported cases the abuse isn’t inflicted by strangers but by someone in the community or family and can you imagine seeing the face of/ the perpetrator around you all the time.”

Director Fatiaki says the South East division recorded the highest number of teenage pregnancy receiving 36 cases followed by the Central Division recording 29 cases while the North received 21 cases.

The South East division remains at the top recording a high of 32 cases of sexual abuse while North and Central both recorded 22 cases followed by Nasinu receiving 18 cases.