Sunvoice

It’s Time We Get Serious About Fighting Child Abuse, Neglect

The initiative to hold community events to increase public awareness about the evil of child abuse and neglect is a welcome. The Government is serious about eradicating this problem by
15 Nov 2014 07:30
It’s Time We Get Serious About Fighting Child Abuse, Neglect
Annesly Infant School students at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci

The initiative to hold community events to increase public awareness about the evil of child abuse and neglect is a welcome.

The Government is serious about eradicating this problem by dedicating a ministry to deal with the issue.

Personally, the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, is passionate about children. Government policies reflect it because he realises that the children are our future.

All the efforts and investment we make now for our children will pay dividends in years to come.

The awareness campaign should focus on two major issues.

One is parents have a sacred responsibility to provide the basic necessities of life to their children. They need to teach their children the time-tested values that help them to become responsible, law-abiding and productive citizens.

To become effective teachers in their homes, they need to live by example.

Parents who teach their children not to smoke or drink when they themselves  drink and smoke are most likely to fail.

Studies have shown that children are most likely to emulate their parents. They know that certain teachings are not genuine because the parents are doing quite the opposite.

Hypocrisy never works. Parents who teach their children to work hard and yet they laze around and become unproductive in the home will rapidly lose the confidence  and faith of their children. Teaching children at home is the responsibility of the parents. They cannot shirk or abdicate this God-given responsibility. They must understand that not only God will hold them responsible but also the Government through the various laws enshrined under the Constitution.

Education is currently being championed by the Government through the free education and free school bus fare polices. Government has invested millions of dollars but the money is wasted if parents do not ensure that their children are attending school.

There should be some form of accountability to make that children should be at school instead of staying at home. The parents should be held responsible.

Maybe school should be made compulsory and parents would have to pay a penalty if their children skip classes.

It could come under the category of neglect.

The other major issue is abuse. The law makes it very plain that abuse of children is a crime.

Abuse comes in many forms, physical, psychological and sexual.

People  need to learn and know that abuse cannot be tolerated.

We can hope for a better future when we all treat our children with dignity and respect.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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