Women, child abuse prevention campaign makes positive strides

National 3 minutes, 12 seconds


THE Women and Children Abuse Investigation Unit of the Royal Brunei Police force identified social media as a challenge for being the root cause for victims to meet their perpetrators.

Head of the team and investigating officer Inspector Hjh Anis @ Roszaffina Hj Ahmad said that in Brunei perpetrators commonly use social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp to find their victims.

“There was a sexual grooming case a few years ago where a man pretended to be a teenager to attract a young girl,” she told The Brunei Times in an interview yesterday during a luncheon reception hosted by the Acting High Commissioner of Australia.

“Because of this we are advising youths not to share their passwords with anyone and not accept random friend requests.”

“This is one of the topics we cover during the awareness campaigns of women and children abuse we conduct at schools for several years now which have resulted in the decrease of violence against women and children cases.”

She said that before the campaign was implemented, youths lacked knowledge on the offence and did not know who to tell.

“We hope that through this campaign which is also conducted to villagers, more people will come up to us and report their cases.”

Public interest is also a contributing factor to the decrease of the cases, giving an example in schools where troubled teens relay their stories to counsellors.

Other than awareness programmes, Inspector Hjh Anis suggest parents to monitor their children’s activities to prevent any incidents from happening.

“Parents should do this especially since there are a lot of gadgets available nowadays. It may be difficult but it is a good prevention step.”

She added that it is also good that schools nowadays are doing its part in imposing students from bringing mobile phones to school.

When asked about cases whereby some women prefer to discuss and settle their matters within the household, Inspector Hjh Anis said that it is alright to do so.

“At least they are sharing it with someone – members of their family. However we are still concerned about their safety especially if they are suffering from serious injuries.”

The inspector added that there are also the rare cases of wives abusing their husband.

“For these types of cases, we sometimes receive counter-reports. The women would lodge a police report stating they were abused. A few days later we receive the same report from their husbands.”

“Of course we will conduct investigations first. Sometimes we refer these couples to relevant authorities for counselling sessions.”

Among the prominent female figures present at the event to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was Datin Paduka Hajah Adina Othman, the Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Datin Paduka Hjh Adina said, “We want to send a message to women that they are not alone. A lot of people are going through the same thing and a lot of people and are willing to help.

“Sometimes people just need time out for awhile. For that we have homes such as Taman Hidayah. You can have time to think and your family members will have time to think.”

Also present during the luncheon was the President of the Council of Women Brunei Darussalam, Pg Datin Hjh Mariam Pg Hj Metarsad, and Brunei Commissioner of Women, ASEAN Commission of the Promotion and Protection of Women and Children, Hj Mordiah Hj Zakiah.

The Acting High Commissioner, Selina Cho hosted a luncheon reception yesterday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The gathering was held to share and discuss the challenges presented by violence against women and children at home and abroad.

It was also to promote the importance of addressing these challenges and build closer ties between the Australian Government and the organisations.

The Brunei Times