Public apathy contributes to child sexual abuse incidence — Police
Posted on July 19, 2012, Thursday
KUALA LUMPUR: Apathy among residents in urban neighbourhoods is one of the reasons for child sexual abuse victims not getting protection.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh said urban communities generally only took interest in what happened in their own homes and paid little attention to their surroundings, resulting in child sexual cases not being reported to the relevant authorities.
He said although 124 such cases were reported in Kuala Lumpur since 2009 until now, he believed there were more cases but these were unreported.
“Those who know of such cases happening in their neighbourhood but do not report them are not aware or do not feel that protecting a child’s right is their business.”
Speaking to reporters after opening a seminar on ‘Awareness of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention’ at the Royal Malaysian Police College here yesterday, he said the authorities hoped that public awareness and concern could help check the problem.
“By immediately reporting child sexual abuse cases they know about to the police, we can bring the culprits to book,” he added.
Earlier, in his speech, Mohmad said all quarters must play a role in combating the menace where children should be exposed early to what could be deemed as sexual disturbance or abuse.
He said this was because many children still did not know their rights and how to avoid or protect themselves from being sexually disturbed or abused.
“What was more shocking was that studies carried out showed that almost all the victims knew the individuals who sexually abused them.”
He said according to police records, in 60 per cent of the 1,823 child sexual abuse cases reported between 2006 and 2010, the culprits were the victims’ own biological father, stepfather or uncle.
The one-day seminar organised by the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) had about 500 participants comprising school teachers and representatives of children’s shelter homes and non-governmental organisations.
Also present was MCPF vice-chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye. — Bernama