“It shouldn’t hurt to be a child”. A statement that has long been fading away in Malaysia and globally.
Going by just the reported cases from the years 2005-2014 the issue of child abuse is escalating in the country. It has become a social issue that requires
urgent attention as the increasing trend of such cases will soon reflect the ill state of our community.
It is devastating to point out that at least 70% of the child abusers in Malaysia are known to the victim. Furthermore, current findings reveal that children are most likely to be abused or neglected by their parents.
‘Protect And Save The Children’ association stated that among the 17 child abuse related calls received from January to December 2017, 14 of the perpetrators are those who are responsible for the child’s safety and well-being. Statistics released by Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (“JKM”) in the year 2015 reported that the highest percentage of child abuse perpetrators were the child’s parents themselves. The year 2015 witnessed 52% of the perpetrators as the parents; this is an increase of 6% from the year 2008. The following charts show the individual representation of parents being the perpetrators for the year 2008 and 2015.
In both years, mothers are seen to be the main perpetrators while the percentage of the fathers being perpetrators has seen a decrease of 1%. Despite the drop in percentage, the number of cases in which the father is the abuser has increased from 772 cases in the year 2008 to 878 cases in the year 2015.
Therefore, one fact is clear across the board: it is disturbing that child abuse starts at home and even more devastating that the perpetrators are most often the parents. This makes it more difficult to identify or resolve child abuse cases as the cases are only reported when they are extreme, such as involving the death of a child.