A total of 4,009 child abuse cases were reported between 2018 and 2020.
6% of the cases reported were specifically related to mental health including emotional abuse, verbal abuse, victim of parental conflict, and attempted suicide.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar during the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect yesterday.
She says the statistics show that parental neglect or abuse can affect a child’s psychological well-being and parental conflict can be transferred to a child and cause a child to internalise and blame themselves.
Akbar says this shows that a child’s mental health is affected by their relationship with their parents or guardians and is critical for their development.
She has encouraged parents, guardians, communities, faith-based leaders, and the general public to create open, empowering and safe conversations with children.
Akbar adds the Fijian government funds the toll-free, national child helpline 1325 to help children access immediate help in situations of abuse and neglect.
She says the Child Helpline allows children and parents to seek counselling or simply talk to a trusted professional about their challenges.
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