‘Some 200 child abuse cases reported this year’

A TOTAL of 209 child abuse cases were reported in Penang from January to September this year, says Chong Eng.

The Penang social development and non-Islamic religious affairs committee chairman said 91 of the cases were sexual abuse cases.

“The second most common type of abuse reported was neglect (67). Others were physical abuse (42) as well as nine emotional abuse cases.

“Most cases were reported in central Seberang Prai at 97 cases; 58 cases reported in the northeast district; north Seberang Prai (21); southwest (29) and 14 reported in south Seberang Prai,” she said in reply to a question from A. Kumaresan (PH-Batu Uban) during the state assembly meeting in Lebuh Light.

Chong Eng added that the factors and causes of child abuse cases included financial problems, negligence of the parents or guardians, hyperactive children, cyber influence, carers’ health issues, as well as children influenced by their friends and peer pressure.

When an abuse case is reported, the Welfare Department will provide immediate measures and support to victims in accordance with the department’s standard operating procedures.

“The victim will be rescued within 10 hours after a complaint or information related to abuse is received,” said Chong Eng.

“The child will then be taken to the hospital to get proper treatment if there is a need, and confirmation by a medical officer related to abuse.

“A temporary order under Section 19 of the Children Act 2001 and a permanent order under Section 30 of the Children Act 2001 will be obtained from the court to place the child in the care of a fit and proper person or be placed in a safe place.

“The child will be given counselling intervention,” she said.

She added that the child protection team appointed under Section 7 of the Children Act 2001 would play a role in implementing advocacy programmes related to child abuse, at the local community level.

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