Child abuse cases in Singapore continue to rise after hitting decade-high in 2020

SINGAPORE – There was a pointy spike in the variety of baby abuse cases investigated by the authorities in 2021.

This follows the rise in 2020, which noticed the very best variety of cases in a decade, in accordance to information from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

The MSF’s Child Protective Service (CPS) investigated 2,141 cases of abuse in 2021, 63 per cent greater than the 1,313 cases in 2020.

Neglect cases numbering 910 made up the majority of the investigations in 2021 and noticed the sharpest rise from 2020, greater than doubling from 375 cases that yr. Cases of neglect embrace these the place youngsters had been poorly supervised or skilled emotional abuse or medical neglect.

Mr Desmurn Lim, director of charity Montfort Care’s Big Love programme,advised The Straits Times previouslythat some uncared for and underfed youngsters injured themselves once they tried to do chores, or cook dinner for themselves.

Child sexual abuse cases additionally jumped 70 per cent from 261 cases investigated in 2020 to 443 cases in 2021 – an 11-year excessive.

Physical abuse cases rose by 16 per cent, from 677 cases investigated in 2020 to 788 cases in 2021.

MSF mentioned extra cases had been investigated as a result of there have been extra referrals from CPS’ neighborhood companions similar to household service centres, faculties and baby safety specialist centres.

CPS offers with extra critical cases, similar to dad and mom who fail to present sufficient meals, clothes or medical care for his or her youngsters, or intentionally inflict critical accidents on them.

The variety of inquiries acquired by CPS additionally elevated by 25 per cent from the yr earlier than, although these calls embrace these that will not contain cases of precise violence.

This improve was primarily due to extra outreach efforts and public consciousness of household violence, MSF mentioned. More individuals are calling the National Anti-Violence Helpline on 1800-777-0000 – a 24-hour helpline for folks to report household violence, in addition to cases of abuse and neglect.

Ms Shailey Hingorani, head of analysis and advocacy of the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware), mentioned that in 2021, its sexual assault care centre noticed 18 per cent out of 856 cases the place the sufferer confronted sexual abuse as a minor – under 16 years previous. 

The share of kid sexual abuse cases the centre sees has remained pretty fixed over the previous 5 years, hovering between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of complete cases, she mentioned. 

She added that the cases embrace adults who’re getting assist for experiences that they confronted in their childhoods. 

“The increase in numbers drives home the importance of comprehensive sexuality education,” she mentioned, citing stories of kid sexual abuse survivors realising that they had been experiencing inappropriate therapy solely after taking sexuality training lessons in faculty. 

“This speaks to how we might be able to both bring child sexual abuse to light and also prevent it from happening.” 

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Family violence helplines

  • Big Love Child Protection Specialist Centre (6445-0400)
  • Heart @ Fei Yue Child Protection Specialist Centre (6819-9170)
  • Pave Integrated Services for Individual and Family Protection Specialist Centre (6555-0390)
  • Project StART (6476-1482)
  • Trans Safe Centre (6449-9088)
  • National Anti-Violence Helpline (1800-777-0000)

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