Child abusers warned


THE practice by perpetrators of child abuse to involve the church in seeking forgiveness through spiritual counselling must be stopped, a senior civil servant says.
National Censorship Office Chief Censor Steven Mala yesterday condemned the practice used by some to escape being reported to police by the victims’ families.
Mala was addressing a National Children’s Forum in Port Moresby which coincided with World Children’s Day
“Churches tend to solve child abuse through spiritual counselling and forgiveness,” Mala said.
“I’m not ashamed to say that we, as parents, guardians, law enforcements agencies, churches and government institution, have many a time failed our children.
“Law enforcement agencies fail to thoroughly investigate and prosecute perpetrators of child abuse.
“As government institutions, we have yet to succeed in policies and regulations to ensure that a child’s right to education, shelter, opinions and protection are enforced to the fullest.
“In instances where a child is a victim of abuse, the child is hardly heard or given a voice because parents, guardian and community tell the child that it will be shameful to speak up against the abusers.”
Mala said parents should be the ones to closely guide and protect their children.
He told the forum that when parents were not giving enough attention to their children, they allowed themselves to be involved in activities which affected their character development and mindset.
“I believe that with parental guidance, our children grow up to be better adults in the future,” Mala said.