Most occurred within family: report
KUWAIT CITY, April 25: The Child Protection Office affiliated to the Ministry of Health last year has recorded 60 cases of ‘sexual assault’ on children in Kuwait, out of a total of 616 cases, most of which occurred within the family, reports Al-Rai daily. Dr Mona Al-Khawari revealed many cases of child abuse were recorded in 2017, including 232 cases of physical assault, 182 negligence, 60 sexual assault, 79 what she called ‘emotional assault’ and 3 cases of MBP (a form of child abuse).
“There is a marked increase in the rate of reported cases of child abuse following the establishment of the office and due to increase in the level of awareness among members of the community,” Al-Khawari said She added, the office has made significant efforts and has to a big extent succeeded in monitoring and following up cases of child abuse since it was established in 2014 through specialized medical and security teams in government hospitals to ensure rapid response, interventions, evaluation and providing appropriate diagnosis and treatment to achieve the overall objectives of the office.
She went on to say, the child protection teams cover all hospitals through specialized teams of pediatricians, nurses, social workers and psychologists, as well as an officer from the Child Protection Office in the Juvenile Protection Department, and a forensic doctor to speed up procedures and proper handling with various cases which fall within the functions of the Child Protection Office. She pointed out the Higher Committee for Child Protection includes representatives from several institutions for more coordination and uniting efforts and work more effectively to serve the public interest.
“Unfortunately, most sexual assaults on children are made by the father or grandfather or brother or uncle or even the mother and sometimes even grandmother and this is completely unacceptable, while cases of sexual abuse on children from outside the family over the last 10 years have been very few,” said Al-Khawari Al-Khawari revealed the hotline 147 has been established to receive reports of child maltreatment and abuse from within the family, noting that anyone can call at any time 24/7 and the authorities will deal with the situation immediately. To report cases of abuse occurring on children outside the family or in public places, anyone can contact the Emergency 112 of the Interior Ministry.