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Child abuse up

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Friday, August 08, 2014

CHILD abuse cases in Fiji have increased from 168 in the first quarter of this year to 172 in the last three months.

This was revealed to community gatekeepers and representatives at the Women and Children's Summit in Suva yesterday.

Social Welfare Ministry assistant director child services Ela Tukutukulevu in her presentation at the Studio 6 Apartments in Suva said of all these abuse cases, sexual abuse topped the list with 59 cases.

This, she said was followed by 34 teenage pregnancy cases, 33 child neglect cases and 18 physical abuse cases.

There were three cases of children who were victims of parental conflict, two of attempted suicide while 23 cases were on other forms of abuse.

"The numbers might not be big but they are a concern to the ministry, especially on teenage pregnancy — one of the main increasing forms of abuse," Ms Tukutukulevu said.

"These are only reported cases and we may not have received others that may be happening around the country. "It is important that everyone understand the importance of child protection as it is a national obligation and we all have an important role to play to protect our Fijian children."

The summit was attended by communities that have been declared violence free against women and children.

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