Urgent need to tackle child abuse: experts

April 1st, 2010 - 1:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, April 1 (IANS) There is an urgent need to tackle child abuse, still considered taboo in society, and educate adults on how to protect vulnerable children, experts have said.
The “Protect Childhood Campaign,” launched by Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) Wednesday featured experts who discussed the importance of protecting the youngest members of the society from abuse.

The campaign will run throughout April, which has been designated as “sexual assault and child abuse awareness” month, WAM news agency reported.

Child abuse is considered taboo in society and there is an urgent need to address it, DFWAC chief executive officer Afra Al Basti said.

“Children are extremely vulnerable, as their innocence and immaturity means that they are not equipped with the skills to deal with or recognise danger from those who would harm them,” she said.

“It is important to educate adults about violation against children so that they can spot warning signs in advance. The subject is one that we need to face up to rather than shy away if we are to protect our children properly,” she said.

Awareness material that educate about the signs and symptoms of child abuse and how to prevent it would be distributed among adults and children. Volunteers dressed in costumes of popular cartoon characters would also try to engage people in malls and market places.

“Our organisation cares for the most vulnerable members of society which include women who are victims of domestic violence and trafficking. Child abuse victims accounted for about a quarter of our clients in 2009,” she said.

“It is important to reach out and speak to families about this subject. There are some who think these issues should be left to public welfare associations, but it is the family which has the biggest role in providing children with safety,” she said.

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