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CAUSE FOR WORRY: Dangerous trend in child abuse cases
KUALA LUMPUR: CHILD abuse cases are on the rise and the most shocking finding is that parents rank the highest among the list of perpetrators.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Heng Seai Kie said statistics over the last three years had indicated this increasingly dangerous and worrying trend. There were 2,789 cases in 2009, 3,257 in 2010 and 3,428 last year.
“Last year, abusive mothers accounted for 25.4 per cent of the cases and fathers 18.9 per cent. Together, they account for almost 45 per cent of the cases,” she said after opening the Third National Conference on Violence Against Children yesterday.
The two-day meeting was organised by the National Registered Childcare Providers Association. Heng said mothers, especially those who had to work to support the family, were burdened with multiple tasks.
The stress they felt found a release through their children, who ended up being abused, she added. Heng urged husbands to equally share the responsibilities at home to ease the burden on their wives. “Husbands can help with household chores, especially in caring for the children.”
She noted that girls were more likely to be victims of abuse than boys. This was evident in last year’s abuse statistics where girls outnumbered boys 2,175 to 1,253.
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor had recorded the highest number over the past three years, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the total cases recorded.
The ministry, in its effort to encourage the public to report such abuse cases, established Childline 15999 in 2010.
Since then, there had been many calls, including cases of children feeling lonely and needing someone to talk to. "To date, we have received 7,331 calls," Heng said.
She also said the ministry was making an effort to increase the number of childcare centres at workplaces to ease the stress for working mothers.
"At the moment, only four per cent of workplaces provide childcare services. We are working to increase this to 25 per cent by 2020."
The government has been providing incentives to encourage government agencies and companies to establish nurseries in their offices.
"We are allocating RM200,000 to build a nursery in each government agency. For corporations, a tax rebate of 10 per cent is given every year for 10 years to encourage them to provide childcare facilities at the workplace. "This will also help families overcome the dependence on foreign maids."