By JIMMY KALEBE
POLICE have found pornographic materials in handphones belonging to students in schools.
This is one of the many reasons why there is an alarming rise in the number of child sexual abuses in Morobe, police commander Supt Alex N’Drasal told The National yesterday.
N’Drasal blamed the rise in child sexual abuses in rural areas on the excessive use of mobile phones and internet to access pornographic materials.
Police blame rise in child abuse on internet access to pornographic materials
“In schools, pornographic materials are found in the handphones of students. They view the materials freely, and practice what they see,” he added.
He said the abuses were happening both within and outside family environments, affecting girls aged between 12 and 18.
“It is simply sad that the public is not taking such crimes seriously or reporting them soonest,” he said.
Police had dealt with a few cases this year.
“In the first three months of this year, the number of cases increased sharply and we are seeking solutions and public cooperation to help reduce the abuses by tackling the causes.
“One of the causes is parents abandoning their children, leaving them to fend for themselves. They become vulnerable to abusers on the prowl.
“In villages, those who are entrusted to care for children turned abusers,” he said, adding that many of the victims were impregnated.
He said the breakdown in family values caused by distrust between husband and wife was another cause in the rise of sexual child abuses.
“This is a problem not only for the police and the judiciary to address but communities and concerned non-governmental organisations (and churches) must lend their support to help raise awareness and public moral education.”
In 2015, the Government had announced it was to put in place a K2 million internet filter to block access to porn websites. It followed a report by Google Trend that PNG was the “most pornography-obsessed country in the world”.
It said although PNG had a population of around eight million and a low rate of internet use, it had the highest percentage of searches for the words “porn” and “pornography” in comparison to the nation’s total “searches” online.
Communication and Information Technology Minister Sam Basil had also raised his concern over the use of pornography on social media.