Malaysia

Police study: ‘Ugly’ children more prone to abuse

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Police have found that children who do not have good looks are more prone to becoming victims of abuse.

Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Crime Investigation Department Principal Assistant Director (Sexual, Abuse and Child Investigation Division), ACP Hamidah Yunos said even among siblings, the child that does not have looks is the black sheep of the family and often the target of parents' ire.

She said the study by PDRM also found that parents who abused their children were victims of abuse themselves where they were young.

"Work pressure can also be a factor where parents can lose their cool and vent their anger on their children," she added.

She said cases of children being abused by maids happened when the latter felt pressured by the parents.

Hamidah said in most cases of child abuse, the parents or guardians would initially make up stories of the child having sustained the injury from a fall.

"After being abused everyday, the injuries may be critical and only then will the child be taken to a hospital or clinic for treatment," she added.

She said the doctor attending to the child could lodge a police report if he suspected that the child had been abused.

Police would contact the Social Welfare Department which would provide counselling or shelter to the victim, she added.

She said a total of 285 child abuse cases were reported last year, from 242 cases in 2012.

"This shows that the public, including doctors, are more sensitive to child abuse cases and willing to come forward to report the matter to the police.

"It also shows that the society has realised that child abuse is a crime," she added.

She said statistics showed that most of the child abuse victims in 2010 and 2011 were between the age of one and seven years old, at 136 and 117, respectively.

Based on statistics, most of the child abuse cases reported last year were in Selangor and Johor Baru, totalling 67 in each state, followed by Penang (25), Negeri Sembilan (24), Kuala Lumpur (18), Sarawak (15), Malacca (13), Perak (12), Kelantan (10), Sabah (10), Pahang (9), Kedah (8), Terengganu (4) and Perlis (3). — Bernama 

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