Take note of children's activities, parents told

KUCHING: Parents are advised to be wary of their children’s activities and know their friends and relationships, as a means to prevent unwanted pregnancy at an early age.

A representative and speaker from Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS), Ann Samuel, said it had come across cases of children as young as 12 already having sex.

“Children nowadays think being a virgin — both boys and girls are not cool and they think everyone is doing it.

“Some lose control when they consume alcohol and drugs, and are exposed to inappropriate books, magazines and media. Some are being pressured against their will.

“So they have sex but not knowing the consequences of free sex, and at the end we have unwanted pregnancy, abortion and baby dumping cases,” she said at a talk entitled “Baby dumping and violence against women. What to do and where to get help” here yesterday.

Soroptimist International Kuching Club held the talk as part of the organisation’s nationwide campaign to create better awareness on all issues of crimes of violence at home, community and neighbourhood in an effort to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls.

This year’s Soroptimist International Region of Malaysia’s 16-day advocacy (Nov 25 to Dec 10) and awareness campaign to eliminate violence against women is themed, “Zero Tolerance, Zero Violence, Zero Victims”.

Ann said girls often had to bear the brunt of unwanted pregnancy as they were seen to have brought shame to the family and themselves. They often had their goals and dreams disrupted and emotionally disturbed, she said.

“Parents need to give their support to their daughter and send her for counselling. There are organisations that can help her. Do not tell her that it’s your problem and get out of the house,” she said.

Another speaker, Grace Tan (pic), shared about how she battled with losing weight, health problems and a failed marriage to emerge a stronger, more loving and responsible mother to her two children.

Entitled “It Starts With You”, she said she had been enduring nasty remarks from others since her teenage years for being overweight.

“At 21, my mum sent me to a slimming centre. I went through mud wraps, electric shocks and sweat blanket. I was not allowed anything except glass noodles. I ate glass noodles everyday and of course I lost some weight, I felt happy and I finally had a boyfriend,” she said.

She said she thought she found her happily-ever-after after getting married in 1999 but a few years later, discovered during her pregnancy with her second child, her husband was seeing another woman.

Tan said her world crumbled and she fell into depression for two years.

“During confinement, I didn’t eat. I went clubbing, spent money on anything, including going to a slimming centre for RM6,000. I wanted to lose weight fast because I wanted to win my husband.

“I went dating with anyone and I even went online dating. I can tell you today that online dating is a fraud. I know each one of them. I was desperate for attention from men,” she said.

She said she neglected both her children and had suicidal thoughts and attempts.

“One day, I woke up and realised I had to do something physically and emotionally because my children are suffering. I started to go to the gym and researched on how to lose weight the right way through exercising and eating healthily,” she said.

Tan said she was heaviest at 126kg but today weighed 68kg.

“I lost weight slowly but in a good and right way. I felt good, have better self-esteem and confidence.”

She said she read motivational books, loved herself more, did things she enjoyed, learned to do productive things and more importantly, learned to let go of the past and be happy.

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Women , soroptimist , awareness , talk


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