1-How can a person report a case of sexual abuse?
There are several ways to report cases of sexual abuse. The easiest of all is to call 1412 a toll free number which was established to report cases of child abuse and neglect.
2- Will the person who report the case be known to the perpetrator?
The person who report the case will remain anonymous.
3- What assistance or help does Ministry of Gender and Family provide for the victims of child sexual abuse?
Social workers at the ministry will do an assessment of the victim and work with the client to help him or her recover from the abuse he or she has suffered. Moreover, in case if there is a protection issue social worker will look into the options that can be used to provide the victim proper protection. If there is no option found within the family environment, the victim is likely to be taken to state care in order to ensure the victim is in a protected environment.
4- Who are more likely to be offenders of child sexual abuse?
From the cases reported to Ministry of Gender and Family in Male and Family and Children Service Centers in the atolls it has been noticed that most offenders of child sexual abuse were people who are known to the child or to whom the child trust. Moreover, they are also people who are known to the child’s family or have a relationship with the family.
5- What are you supposed to do if you have witnessed or known an incident of child sexual abuse?
It is mandatory by law to everyone who witness or known an incident of child sexual abuse to report it to the relevant authorities. Moreover, it is also required to try everything possible to remove the child from the offender if a person has seen occurrence of such an incident .
6- What can happen if a person fails or refuses to report even if he or she knows about a case of child sexual abuse?
The Act 12/2009 says it is a crime if a person refuses or fails to report an incident of child sexual abuse which is known by him or her. Article 53 of the Act says if a person is proven guilty for the mentioned crime he is likely to hear a sentence of between 6 months and 3 years in prison.
7- Will the person who report a case of child sexual abuse be penalized if the suspected offender escapes without having proven guilty?
The person who reports an incident of child sexual abuse will not be penalized even if the suspected offender escapes without having proven guilty unless the person who report the case does it genuinely.
8- What are the reasons for which in many cases suspects of child sexual abuse escapes without getting any punishment?
As in many other criminal offenses certain level of evidence is needed in cases of child sexual abuse to prove the person is guilty of committing the crime. If enough evidence is not found the suspect is likely to escape without receiving any kind of punishment.
9- What level of impact can child sexual abuse cause on a victim?
It all depends on the intensity and duration of the abuse the child has suffered. Also child/s age physical and psychological development will significantly matter in this regard. The impact of child sexual in some cases can be seen from a victim even if he or she turns to adulthood.
10- What can be the reason for the increasing number of cases of child sexual abuse in recent times?
The exact reason cannot be identified unless we do a research to find out the cause for this trend. However, it can be said that the number of reported cases of child sexual abuse has increased compared to what has happened couple of years ago. The main reason for increasing number of reported cases of child sexual abuse can be the increased awareness about sexual abuse among the general public and the establishment of easy mechanisms for reporting.