Stressed-out parents abusing kids

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation is concerned that children are becoming exposed to abuse, often at the hands of their guardians.

According to Women, Family and Community Development Ministry records, while cases of sexual abuse involving girls were worrying, the number of boys affected was also serious.

MCPF vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the ministry's statistics showed that almost 3,900 cases of child abuse were reported last year, and 1,023 cases in the first quarter of this year.

He has called for drastic action be taken by the authorities to identify the risk and root causes, adding that among the factors identified were related to parents or guardians with work-related stress, financial and marital problems.

"The inability to provide for their children and themselves, while balancing a stressful job, were among the reason why they take out their frustrations on their children."

He said the government and NGOs must carry out a comprehensive community-based mental health development programme or campaigns to create public awareness about the matter.