Absent folks fuelling abuse
Prosecutor: parents not there for kids
Failure by mothers and fathers to understand what is going on aroud them is to blame for what prosecutors say is a rise in the number of child sex abuse cases in Dubai.
Mohammed Al Hammadi, from Al Dar Prosecution, which handles crimes relating to women, young people and those with special needs, said many cases could be avoided if parents were there for their children.
Figures are yet to be published for 2015 though the number of reported cases has risen gradually, from 40 in 2012 to 51 in 2013 and 57 complaints in 2014.
But Dubai Police officers have previously said “ninety-five per cent of cases” go unreported.
Al Hammadi said: “Dubai Prosecution has seen a rise in the number of child sex abuse cases and found that the majority of cases involve people residing in the neighbourhood they live in.
“With proper parental supervision, most children would be free from such abuse.”
Al Hammadi said being educated about the issue makes children more likely to ask for help.
He said: “Children who are taught about how to prevent sexual abuse at school are more likely to tell an adult if they had, or were actually experiencing, sexual abuse.”
The prosecutor was speaking after the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) held an event on Thursday to detail the work it does with victims of abuse.
The foundation has received more than 450 victims of abuse since it was established in 2007. It provides rehabilitation for children and counselling for families.
Huda Rustom, a criminal lawyer in Dubai, said parents leaving their children unattended is common in the cases she deals with.
She said: “For instance, many parents leave their children in the swimming pool and assign their housemaid to watch them.
“The maid could play a minor role in observing the children but that’s not likely to be enough.
“And many cases of abuse are committed by domestic workers when children are left alone.”