Shocking statistics have been revealed by the Ministry for Women, Children and Social Protection as Minister Lynda Tabuya says that out of the 950 cases of child abuse reported from January to July this year, 4 percent of the victims are below the age of 1 year and 75 percent of the perpetrators are known to the victims and of that 75 percent, 70 percent are immediate family members.
While revealing the shocking statistics in Parliament during her ministerial speech, Tabuya says according to the Child Welfare Act Database for this year, 54 percent of the victims were girls, and 75 cases of neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse.
She says in 2022, 54 percent of the child victims were girls, 68 percent were child neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse, 58 percent of the child victims were below the age of 12 years, 3.7 percent of the child victims were below the age of 1 year, 79.7 percent of perpetrators are known to the victims, and of that 80 percent, 60 percent are immediate family members.
The Minister adds that reported cases continue to rise as children are still subjected to physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse and neglect.
Tabuya says children are the foundation of future leaders of our country, and we must at all costs ensure that we as a nation strengthen our commitments to protecting our children.
She says each child in Fiji depends on them to make decisions that will guarantee they are safe and their rights are protected to ensure they have a bright future to reach their full potential.
The Minister says they will continue to work with stakeholders to increase awareness of child abuse and neglect.
She also urged parliamentarians to support the Ministry in their work in tackling this issue as they are public figures who people look up to.
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