THE City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) is reporting an increase in recorded cases of child abuse in the city compared to previous years.
According to Betty Fangasan, office of CSWDO, 76 cases of child abuse were recorded in the city for the entire year of 2020.
However, within only the first six months of the year, the city has already seen 71 cases of child abuse to date.
52 cases reported involve females and 19 for males. Some 20 cases have also been reported to involve molestation, while 18 cases were of physical abuse.
Two cases have already been filed in court.
Initial investigations into the cases revealed that the majority of abusers are family members, close relatives, and neighbors, all individuals in close proximity to the children.
While the increase in case incidence is alarming, Fangasan also cited the increasing awareness of the public and willingness to report cases of child abuse that would typically be hidden from the authorities as a significant factor in the increase in cases.
As part of the response to cases of abuse, the City Health Services Office in partnership with the CSWDO is providing counseling to victims and perpetrators alike, with cases discussed and settled by involved parties under the supervision of social welfare workers.