KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12- Child abuse reared its ugly head as 3,831 children were reported to be victims last year, an increase of 403 cases compared to the same period the previous year.
The most common cases of child abuse were physical, emotional and sexual, apart from those involving abandoned children.
The 2012 and 2011 statistics were based on reports compiled by the Social Welfare Department of Malaysia, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.
“Of this, 669 of the victims were female and 354 male,” she told Bernama when met at her office recently.
According to Rohani, various preventive measures had been taken to address the issue.
“A short-term measure is to place the child in a home or under the care of a person for a period specified by the court, and under the supervision of a welfare officer,” she said.
For long-term measure, she said, the department could work with various agencies such as the police, and health and education ministries, and encourage community participation in overcoming the problem.
Financial problems plaguing a family could also cause some parents to turn violent, especially when children ask for money and the parents are unable to oblige and thus, become abusive, noted Rohaini.
She advised parents faced with problems not to take it out on their children.
Instead, she urged them to seek professional help or contact the department for counselling and guidance in resolving their personal, social or psychological problems.