Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 January 2020

Almost 500 calls made to child abuse hotline in Sharjah this year

One in 10 of the child abuse reports needed 'immediate intervention'

Almost 500 calls were made to Sharjah’s 24-hour child abuse helpline during the first six months of the year.

Of the 487 calls received by the Protection of Children’s Rights Administration, at Sharjah Social Services Department, more than one in 10 were to report “urgent” cases of abuse.

Ameena Al Rifai, director of Administration, said 54 cases required immediate intervention from the department.

Globally, about 90 per cent child abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. Ms Al Rifai that some of the reported cases in Sharjah involved children who had been abused or subjected to violence by family members or other people they knew.

She said other cases involved children having been left in public or away from their home for many hours, putting them in the path of danger. Some children were deprived of necessary medical treatment by their families, she said.

Ms Al Rifai said the administration is trained to deal with all types of child abuse, be it psychological, physical, or sexual. It also deals with negligence cases and has helped children who had been deprived of education, health care and identification documents.

The department’s helpline provides assistance in Arabic and English and offers crisis intervention, information and counselling services.

“The department provides various kinds of support to protect and secure the rights of children so that each child can enjoy a dignified and safe life,” said Ms Al Rifai.

It also educates children on how to report abuse.

Updated: July 15, 2019 09:42 PM