Over 500 child abuse cases reported in Oshikoto

A total of 557 cases of child abuse have been reported in the Oshikoto Region between 01 January to 18 March 2024.

This was confirmed by the Head of the Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Division at the Oshikoto Regional Council, Petrus Kuutondokwa, on Tuesday during the Child Care Protection Forum meeting held at Omuthiya.

He said the reported abuse include sexual, physical, emotional abuse and neglect.

The Oshikoto Regional Council chairperson, Samuel Shivute has encouraged residents of Oshikoto to start reporting violence against children and other pressing issues committed against them to relevant authorities.

He said that children should be protected against any forms of harm, exploitation and discrimination.

‘We also have alcohol and drug abuse by children and a high rate of children committing crimes in the region,’ said Shivute, further lamenting a high prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the region.

The Namibian Police Force representative at the meeting, Melchizedek Hang
o, urged the nation to go to the police station or the hospital to formalise and tackle the issue of child abuse.

‘The members of the public should call any member of the gender-based violence police to meet in person because police intervention can be your priority because it is a lifesaving measure,’ said Hango.

Hango further added that they can help the survivors to get connected to other resources such as legal services, psychologists and shelters, among others.

The objective of the forum was to strengthen coordination amongst the stakeholders regarding child care and protection issues, as well as raise awareness regarding child welfare services.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

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