Child abuse cases rise to highest level in five years
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
CHILD abuse offences in the Sultanate have gradually risen to their highest level in the last five years.
Royal Brunei Police Force’s (RBPF) latest statistics on offences up to 2013 showed that the number of child abuse cases had gone from 27 cases in 2009 to 36 in 2013.
Meanwhile, Dharar Syar’ie (DS) – S Causing Hurt to wife cases decreased to 111 from a high 132 in 2011. Rape cases dropped from 31 cases in 2009 to 19 cases in 2013 – which marked the first time the figures have dropped to less than 20 cases in five years.
As for the total number of cases, despite the increase in child abuse cases, the overall total dropped from a high 281 in 2009 to 230 cases in 2013.
RBPF Crime Investigation Unit policewoman ASP Hjh Maryani Hj Abd Wahab presented the statistics as she briefed the Sultanate’s principals and schools leaders on the latest laws and regulations concerning schoolchildren yesterday.
In light of the child abuse rates, she reminded principals that they played a vital role as the earliest detectors of child abuse.
She said that the stakeholders of child protection involved three agencies. The agencies were the Community Development Centre (JAPEM) as the children’s protector; the Royal Brunei Police Force’s Women and Child Abuse Investigation Unit (WCAIU); and medical officers including paediatricians.
ASP Hjh Maryani said that schools also played a prominent role of because they are the earliest detectors of children in need of protection. She, however, told the school leaders that she understood the detection role was no simple task especially online child abuse. For example, statistics on rape and unlawful carnal knowledge cases showed that 73 per cent of the 45 cases in 2012 involved victims who were “met online”.
The Brunei Times