Letters

Letters To The Editor, 14th February, 2016

Child abuse Nilesh Goundar,  Suva   Vision Fiji’s efforts in advancing child protection in Fiji are commendable.   It has been suggested that a curfew on children in public past a
14 Feb 2016 10:10
Letters To The Editor, 14th February, 2016

Child abuse

Nilesh Goundar,  Suva

 

Vision Fiji’s efforts in advancing child protection in Fiji are commendable.   It has been suggested that a curfew on children in public past a certain hour may help alleviate the problem.   Before a decision is taken and a curfew enforced, allow me to present the following characteristics of child abuse.

Child abuse happens across all sectors of society including different socio-economic and ethnic groups, and in both city and rural communities.  By far the most cases occur in the privacy of homes and not in public spaces.

Offenders come from all walks of life and look like ordinary people hence child abusers cannot be easily distinguished from others.  They usually are not adults with mental illness or mental retardation.  In fact, many offenders are up-standing community citizens.

Most offenders (85 per cent of cases) are relatives or close friends of the child whom the child trusts.  They can be fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, stepfathers, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, stepmothers, babysitters, coaches, teachers, doctors, social workers, religious leaders, neighbours, etc.

Children with disabilities are at significantly increased risk of abuse than those without disabilities.  Research shows they are 3-4 times more likely to be abused than children without disabilities.

Child abuse does not necessarily involve violence or anger.  Abuse often involves adults exploiting their power over children, and using children as objects for their own gratification rather than respecting their needs and rights as children.

Public health and health promotion principles have been inconsistently applied to child abuse prevention, and child abuse is often framed as a symptom of family dysfunction and disadvantage, rather than a set of harmful behaviours that need to be identified and changed.

 

No more standing

Sukha Singh,  Labasa

 

Standing in a moving bus is not an easy thing. Why can’t the OHS completely stop it?

If the bus companies insist on having standing passengers please provide  us the latest safety harness just like the one Fiji electricity uses when electricians hang on the poles.



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