91 cases of child abuse in first quarter: MoSD
The Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) received 91 child abuse cases in the first quarter of 2017.
Of these, 12 were reported directly by the children, while 79 were reported by people related to the affected children.
The ministry dealt with 299 cases of child abuse in 2016. The cases were reported on the child abuse hotline 1100. “Of the total 91 cases, 23 were regarding physical abuse, 20 for psychological abuse, nine for sexual abuse and 39 for neglect,” Shams bint Said Hamoud al Hajri, director of Family Protection Department in MoSD, said.
She said that the maximum number of cases of abuse were reported in Muscat (46), followed by South Batinah (12).
Shams said that the cases are transferred to child protection committees to be followed up with the concerned authorities. “Some children need immediate social, psychological and medical treatment. There are cases which call for immediate inter- vention by child protection officials. In such cases, the abused child is shifted to Dar al Wefaq (temporary care house) in the Family Protection Department. This house is dedicated for the protection and rehabilitation of the abused child.”
Shams said that the hotline service is operational 24x7. “We ensure full confidentiality of the complaint and the caller. It’s a free line. Depending upon the complaint, it is forwarded to the relevant authorities.”
She said that there is a Child Protection Committee in each of the 11 governorates of the sultanate. “Child protection officers too have been appointed in accordance with the Ministerial Decision No 43/2016. These officers visit families or childcare institutions from time to time.”