CHILD ABUSE INCREASING IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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By Winis Map

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (November 19, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS)--- Child abuse is increasing in Papua New Guinea, says a senior PNG correctional services officer, The National newspaper reports.

Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Services, Rehabilitation and Welfare Services Thaddy Ambing said abuse of children is becoming a problem because there is lack of understanding about how to stop offenders from committing crimes against innocent children. In addition, he noted, in most abuse cases people do not bring the offenders to justice because of threats against those making reports and a lack of community protection.

There are no counseling services available for either victims or the perpetrators of the crimes, he said, and abusers do not go through psychiatric evaluation while serving time in prison because such services do not now exist.

Ambing said a lack of government programs to provide physical, psychological and emotional support also results in immense suffering on the part of victims.

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