Reports by ELIZABETH VUVU
EAST New Britain (ENB) council of women president Ruby Matane says the provincial family and sexual violence action committee had counselled 74 sexually abused children aged 18 and below in the past two years.
She said the children were among the 313 cases of sexually abused victims for 2008 and 2009.
There were eight child abuse cases that occurred in schools.
Mrs Matane, who is also the family and sexual violence action committee chairwoman, said the committee was established by the National Government under the Consultation Implementation Monitoring Council (CIMC), a sector that looked at addressing violence against children and women.
“Under this sector, we have conducted many data trainings for service providers to collect data.
“From the data, a manual was compiled on when a child is sent in for counselling, the age, school, where and when the abuse occurred.
“Following reports of abuses lodged by teachers, 10 schools in ENB were chosen and awareness was conducted on forms of violence against children,” she said.
Mrs Matane said the committee conducted a survey in Morobe, National Capital District, ENB and Eastern Highlands provinces and found that half of the 994 cases of abuse victims were children.
“This is very frightening because many children are becoming victims of violence,” she said.
Mrs Matane said she would be briefing the provincial education division and the regional Teachers Service Commission office on the data and was optimistic all stakeholders would cooperate to address the escalating problem.
Mrs Matane said sadly many people in the rural areas did not know where to go and who to approach and suffer silently with their children.
“It will be good to do more awareness campaigns so that they know who to see when their children go through such experiences,” she said.