Speaking to Muscat Daily, Shams bint Said Hamoud al Hajri, director of Family Protection Department in MoSD, mentioned, “We have registered 721 child abuse cases in 2018.” The Governorate of Muscat reported the maximum quantity of cases at 323 (183 male, 140 female) followed by North Batinah which saw 150 cases (83 male, 67 female).
While 57 cases have been reported in Dakhliyah (30 male, 27 female), 46 in South Sharqiyah (28 male, 18 female), 44 in South Batinah (24 male, 20 female), 40 in North Sharqiyah (20 male, 20 female), 16 in Buraimi (9 male, 7 female), 21 in Dhofar (12 male, 9 female), 17 in Dhahirah, (10 male, 7 female), six in Musandam (four male, two female) and 1 in Al Wusta (1 female). In 2017 as well, Muscat recorded the highest quantity of abuse cases of the total of 330 recorded in the year.
“The maximum number of cases were reported from Muscat at 157. Most of the cases involved children between three and 18 years. They were mostly related to negligence,” Shams mentioned. She added that these cases are transferred to child protection committees to be followed up with the concerned authorities.
“Some children need immediate social, psychological and medical treatment. There are cases which call for immediate intervention by child protection officials. In such cases, the abused child is shifted to Dar al Wefaq (a temporary care house) in the Family Protection Department. This house is dedicated for the protection and rehabilitation of abused children.”
Shams also mentioned that the hotline service is operational 24X7. “We ensure full confidentiality regarding the complaint and the caller. It’s a free line. Depending upon the complaint, it is forwarded to the relevant authorities.” She informed that there is a Child Protection Committee in every governorate of the sultanate.
“We create awareness about child protection and organise programmes for families. Child protection officers too have been appointed in accordance with the Ministerial Decision No 43/2016. These officers visit families or childcare institutions from time to time.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily