Fatiaki: Report abuse

Figures sourced from the Fiji Police Force and the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council reveals 630 young people between the ages 11 to 25 resorted to taking their lives from January 2011 to September 2018. Picture: The Leopard

IF you see extreme changes in your friends or siblings’ behaviour, talk to a parent or teacher about it.

Social Welfare Department director Rupeni Fatiaki emphasised this during the recent opening of the Rakiraki Children’s Park.

He also urged children to use the toll-free Child Helpline 1325 to report sexual or physical abuse.

“In the work that we do everyday, we face a number of cases where children have been reported to us because they have been abused,” he said.

“Either they have been physically or sexually abused or neglected by their families or their loved ones.

“Sometimes it may be difficult for us to ‘see’.

“Sometimes our children are the ones who are able to ‘see’.

“We have cases that have been referred to us where children or friends were the ones who have reported to us because children find it difficult to go and tell their parents and teachers and find it easy to tell their own friends.”

Mr Fatiaki also said children should report abuse by their peers.

“Children, you have a responsibility to make sure that you listen to your friends and tell your teachers or parents if you hear things that are happening to your friends that are not right. “When you see your friends bullying another child, speak out against it.

“When you talk to your friends and they are very talkative and all of a sudden they stop talking and become quiet, maybe there is something wrong.

“If you have a disagreement with someone, don’t use physical force, don’t fight, don’t throw punches — look for other ways to solve your problems.”

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