Padang govt establishes volunteer teams to detect child violence cases

Padang govt establishes volunteer teams to detect child violence cases

Head of the women's empowerment and child protection department at the Padang Population and Family Planning Office, Editiawarman. (ANTARA/Ikhwan Wahyudi)

Padang, West Sumatra (ANTARA) - The Padang city government has announced the formation of child protection volunteer teams in the city's 104 urban communities (kelurahan) to allow early detection of cases of violence against children and achieve child-friendly city status.

"Violence against children cases are often revealed only after the child has suffered the violence for months, hence we establish the volunteer teams to allow early detection of child violence cases," head of the women's empowerment and child protection department at the Padang Population and Family Planning Office, Editiawarman, said in Padang on Monday.

Violence against children is often concealed by suspects' families and even by victims' families, he noted.

"The cases are often covered-up as families are reluctant to make a report out of embarrassment," he said.

In other cases, the victim's families are confused as to whom they should report the violence to, thereby further aggravating the violence and the trauma that the child must endure, he added.

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The child protection volunteers will be assigned to localities to detect potential child violence cases, collect information on child safety, and disseminate information about child protection issues to the public, the department head informed.

"The task force will handle the detected cases as per the existing regulations and resources," Editiawarman stated.

The early detection team will involve family planning instructors and child protection officers station at sub-districts, he said. The team will engage with local education offices to remind school teachers to observe possible indications of child violence among their pupils, he added.

Child violence cases may show an increasing trend once new cases are uncovered by volunteers, Editiawarman pointed out.

"Child violence record might increase temporarily and what is essential is to assure its proper handling," he said.

The authorities are ready to provide the necessary resources for handling child violence cases, including the provision of psychologists for children and assuring prompt response from police officers, the department head said.

"Detection of child violence cases would allow us to provide remedy and recovery support for the victims. If we are not proactive on this issue, we will allow child violence to continue in the future," Editiawarman added.

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