The Jakarta Post
The Child Protection Institution (LPA) has recorded an alarming increase in sexual violence committed against children in Gorontalo.
LPA secretary Salhuddin Idris spoke of an “emergency” in sexual violence against children in the province of 1.1 million people, revealing that in 2015, his institution had recorded 117 cases of sexual violence against children, up from 70 in 2014 and 30 in 2013. This year, the LPA received three reports of sexual violence against children, the activist said.
Salhuddin said the figure might be just the tip of the iceberg, because many cases of sexual violence against children were not reported to the police.
“Ironically, the majority of sexual violence against children is committed by someone known to the victim, such as stepfathers, grandfathers and neighbors,” he told thejakartapost.com on Thursday.
Salhuddin said there were many factors that might trigger the high level of violence against children in Gorontalo, including poor parental education and control, the influence of the internet and lifestyle-related problems.
The LPA and other non-governmental organizations concerned with the protection of women and children are calling on the Gorontalo legislative council to immediately pass a regional bill on the elimination of violence against women and children.
The bill aims not only to regulate procedures to control sexual violence against children but also to strengthen institutions in preventing the crime.
“We should act not just as ‘fire extinguishers’, in responding to a case only after it happened,” said Salhuddin.
Based on Gorontalo Police data, 251 cases of sexual violence against children occurred across Gorontalo during the 2013-2015 period.
From January to February this year, the police recorded at least five cases of sexual violence against children, one of which was a human trafficking case. Trafficking is one of the most common issues affecting children in Gorontalo and involves a vast network across the province.
Gorontalo Police spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. Bagus Santoso said all parties, starting with parents, government institutions and relevant social organizations, had to work together to prevent sexual violence against children. “The most important thing is control and education in the family environment,” he said. (ebf)
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