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Overview: Child abuse in Malaysia

© UN Malaysia/2004/Chauly

Do you know that reported child abuse cases in Malaysia are increasing?

Statistics show that there has been a rise in reported child abuse incidents. Moreover, these numbers could merely be the tip of the iceberg because many cases are believed to have gone unreported. Some may even have been reported to the authorities but remain unproven.

Neglect is the most common form of child abuse in Malaysia, followed by physical abuse and sexual abuse. Failure to provide care and supervision has become the most frequent cause of death among children.

What is most disturbing is that many child abusers are parents, immediate family members, relatives or foster parents of the victims themselves.

Child abuse is an offence in Malaysia, punishable under the Child Act (2001) and the Penal Code (revised 1997). Offenders may be liable to a maximum fine of RM50,000 or to imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both depending on the offence. Offenders may also be punished with whipping in addition to the fine and/or imprisonment.

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