‘More girls abused compared to boys’

Nancy says out of 5,216 reported cases of child abuse up to August 2023, 3,348 girls fell victim to physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

GIRLS continue to be more vulnerable to violence and abuse compared to boys, according to statistics from the Social Welfare Department.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said out of the 5,216 cases of child abuse reported this year as at August, a total of 3,348 girls had fallen victim to physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

“This is higher compared to the number of boys recorded, which is 1,868.

“Similarly in previous years, the number of girls who were victims of abuse was higher compared to boys.”

She said last year, out of a total of 6,770 abused children, 4,303 were girls, while in 2021, it was 4,005 out of 6,144.

Nancy said this when attending the national-level World Children’s Day celebration at a hotel in Johor Baru.

She added that there had been an increase in the number of child abuse cases over the years.

She attributed this to more cases being reported to the authorities, adding that child abuse did not only take place at home but also at childcare centres and pre-schools.

To safeguard the safety of children, her ministry had taken several measures such as improving the child sex offenders registry, looking into making it mandatory for childcare centres to instal closed circuit television cameras, and working with the police to improve the vetting system on those wanting to work with children, she added.

When asked about the death of children being left unattended in vehicles, Nancy said she had spoken to the Transport Minister on a suggestion she received, which was to prohibit tinted vehicle windows.

“That is not my suggestion. It was one view I received from the public regarding the matter, and I have spoken to the minister about it casually.

“This is because we are not sure whether (tinted windows) is the cause of such incidents.

“It will be up to the (Transport Ministry) to look into the suggestion as it is not under my ministry’s jurisdiction,” she added.

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