A total of 142 child abuse cases were recorded in Negeri Sembilan in the first six months of this year, says state Social Welfare Department (JKM) director Rosnah Sardi.
Of the total, she said physical abuse topped the list with 85 cases, followed by sexual abuse (36), child neglect (13), emotional abuse (four) and abandonment (four).
“Physical abuse also recorded the highest number of cases with 60 from the total 160 child abuse cases reported for the same period last year.
“The state JKM also rescued a total of 341 child abuse victims throughout last year. Child abuse is not something that we should take lightly and must be addressed immediately,” she told Bernama today.
Rosnah said the rescued children would be handed over to eligible and suitable persons who can provide them with protection and look after their welfare.
She said the children would also be placed in homes or safe places gazetted under Section 54 of the the Child Act 2001 for a period of three years or until they reach the age of 18.
Rosnah said family spats due to financial problems and drug abuse, and parental negligence were among the factors leading to child maltreatment or abuse cases.
She said various efforts were being made by the state JKM to address the issues including providing advocacy services to the families and children through nine Children’s Activity Centres in Negeri Sembilan.
An advocacy campaign for child safety known as the Sahabat Bijak programme has also been carried out in secondary and primary schools statewide by the state JKM in collaboration with various agencies including the state education department, the police and the state health office, Rosnah added.
“A total of 4,345 children have benefited from the programme which was introduced in 2017,” she said.
Rosnah also urged the public to report suspicious behaviour towards children by contacting the Talian Kasih hotline at 15999 which operates 24 hours a day or by sending a WhatsApp message to 019-261 5999.