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Child Helpline Receives 3600 Calls Reporting Neglect, Abuse, Violence

Child Helpline Receives 3600 Calls Reporting Neglect, Abuse, Violence
December 08
11:00 2017

The calls recorded were from children and adults over the past two years

The Child Helpline (CHL) has received 3620 calls from children and adults since 2015 who complained of neglect, witnessing violence, physical and sexual abuse.

Medical Pacific Services Fiji director Jennifer Poole said these children were immediately assisted and referred to social services, legal aid or counseling.

The organisation provides Pacific women, youth and children with access to quality health care and social services.

Since its establishment, the CHL received 33,643 which included 6702 prank calls, 8304 silent calls, 2612 voice mails and 12,405 test calls.

Ms Poole said prank callers were usually from children or youth calling which showed that children knew the number and could use it in times of emergency.

Meanwhile, “silent calls are calls from smaller children who just want to hear the voice of a counselor and they often called back a few times before they spoke,” Ms Poole said.

But what was worrying, were the issues that topped the list which included child neglect and children who were witnessing Gender Based Violence (GBV) in their homes or are victims of GBV, abuse or exploitation, Ms Poole added.

“And one of the worrying trends is the increasing incidence of parental neglect of children who are left unsupervised,” she said.

She said this lead to them being at risk.

Jiokapeci Baledrokadroka, the manager of the national Child Helpine said, “It is a concern to hear children report witnessing domestic violence in their home, we must be mindful that children are watching our behaviour and learning from it.”

Additionally she said adults needed to teach children through their good acts of respect and kindness and spend quality time with them.

MSP Fiji was contracted by the Ministry of Women and Poverty Alleviation to implement the 24 hour Child Helpline Fiji.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra





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