The NGO said the public must be educated on the types of child sexual abuse as the knowledge would enable them to detect any signs of a child being abused and report it to the relevant authority.
KUALA LUMPUR: Raising public awareness on child abuse is important to address the problem, said the secretary on a non-government organisation, known as Project Layang-Layang, Petra Gimbad.
She said the public must be educated on the types of child sexual abuse as the knowledge would enable them to detect any signs of a child being abused and report it to the relevant authority.
"Programmes organised by Project Layang-layang are intended to provide such knowledge to participants, so that adults and children know what sexual crime is.
"Most often, parents felt helpless when their children are sexually abused or assaulted. Project Layang-Layang is set up to provide support to such parents and children," she told Bernama during a forum on 'Child sexual Abuse – What Are You Doing To Stop It' here recently.
One of the speakers at the forum, Dr Zahilah Filzah Zulkifli, who heads the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) team at a government hospital, said for every one reported case of child sexual abuse in the country, nine often went unreported.
She said the sign of a child been violated was hard to prove as any sign of penetration in children resulting in wounds would only take 20 to 40 hours to heal.
"The healing process in children is much faster. Therefore, when a child comes for a check-up to prove if she or he has been sexually violated, it is already too late." she added.
As such, she said, it was imperative for parents to have the knowledge about child sexual abuse as prevention.