Neglect of children is most common form of abuse in UAE

Research shows fathers are main perpetrators within families

Picture for illustrative purposes only
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A new study into child abuse in the UAE has found 42 per cent of children suffer neglect while over 25 per cent are victims of violence at home. Image for illustrative purposes only.
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Dubai A new study into child abuse in the UAE has found 42 per cent of children suffer neglect while over 25 per cent are victims of violence at home.

The findings are a result of comprehensive research carried out by Dr Ahmad Falah Al Omosh, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sharjah.

“We need to educate families about the dangers of neglect. If we can get the number of neglect abuse cases down, it is expected the number of physical abuse cases will go down too”
-Dr Ahmad Falah Al Omosh
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Tragically one child recounted how she feels she was “born to be beaten”.

While 3.1 per cent revealed they had been victims of sexual abuse, 17.6 per cent said they had been exposed to pornographic movies.

Dr Omosh told Gulf News: “The next step is to do a bigger follow-up study focusing on the abuse of neglect as it is the biggest issue, with the highest numbers.

”We need to educate families about the dangers of neglect.”

“If we can get the number of neglect abuse cases down, it is expected the number of physical abuse cases will go down too.”

Awareness

Dr Omosh aims to raise awareness on the issue across the UAE so that steps can be taken to prevent such abuse.

The study investigated children’s perceptions of violence in society and the types of violence children experience, be it physical, sexual, emotional or neglect.

They gave 193 seventh grade students from across Sharjah’s public schools a questionnaire to complete with responses coming from 66 males and 127 females. The average age of children, all Emirati, participating in the study was between 12 and 13.

During interviews, 39.9 per cent interviewed revealed they are regularly threatened, 21 per cent said their hair is pulled and 3.1 per cent said they are beaten with a hard object — these acts of violence were in response to children misbehaving.

One per cent of children said they are slapped, 9.8 per cent spoke of regular verbal abuse while 4.7 per cent are locked up in their rooms. Meanwhile, 10.5 per cent claim they were beaten with a hard object for returning home late.

The study also found that within a family, 36.3 per cent believe the father is the most common abuser, 20.2 per cent indicate the brother and 14 per cent feel the mother is the main source of abuse.

Some 22.3 per cent of children also said they  had witnessed sexual abuse in their neighbourhoods and 10.9 per cent in school.

Dr Omosh said: “The figures for sexual abuse are there, but they are not alarming in comparison to other countries, as there is always a percentage of sexual abuse.” 

The academic has now called for a similar study across Arab countries to study the trend of violence against children.

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  • Ms. Renu Kala

    Jul 26, 2012 4:57

    Like physical or mental abuse neglecting your child is also a kind ofabuse. No matter if you serve best of the world to your child, provideall the luxuries but if you are neglecting or not giving your qualitytime to your child, this all is a waste. All the children need propertime from their parents schedule so that they can share their mattersand can develop friendly bond with the parents, Moreover scolding,objecting or beating all the time will distant the child, carelessnesstowards the child always make situations worse and weak between parentsand the child. Additionally I will say one more thing neglected childcan feel unwanted and lonely and this is the time when he or she canfall prey to a bad company or under peer pressure. The relationshipbetween you and your child should be healthy and happy, Parents mustprovide their child the freedom to share and express their views but ina disciplinary manner.

  • Yana

    Jul 26, 2012 1:08

    We are taught all the different mathematical and physics and chemistryformulas at school that most of us are most probaby never gonna use orneed, we learn about history, we learn about the grammar, we learn abouteverything at school except about life, marriage and kids. We are notgiven any training on real life. When I was in school at least there wassome homemaking training, and that is not even offered anymore in mostplaces. Kids graduate from high school with zero knowledge about reallife, they go on to college where they also dont have time to learnanything about real life because they are so concernred with theirdegree and career, then come marriage, kids, and the now adults stillarent prepared for this. Had there been compulsary training onmarriage, relationships and kids, I strongly believe there would be lessdivorce, less abuse, less neglect (which is a form of abuse). There areless family values these days if any. All the guys wanna do is go outand have fun, all the gals wanna do is go out and have fun, everybody isso concerned about material things that the value of family,relationships with family, kids has come close to a zero. When manycouples marry they come to an unpleasant surprise and for many familybecomes a burden. I have seen it with many. MAjority are unprepared formarried life and dont know how to deal with it, many use the means theylearned when growing up. I strongly believe and hope for a compulsoryand strong family preparation programme to be in place in schools andcolleges. I also believe there should be a compulsory prior marriagetraining of some sort as well as compulosry pregnancy training, as wellas growing up training at different stages of childrens lives to educatethe future husbands and wives and parents about what real life is as amarried couple and as parents as well as to teach them how to cope withproblems that may a rise and to simply hpw to improve and have a healthyrelationship with each other. Some people are simply less adaptive thanothers, some are less motivational, but all are unprepared.

Latest Comment

Like physical or mental abuse neglecting your child is also a kind ofabuse. No matter if you serve best of the world to your child, provideall the luxuries but if you are neglecting or not giving your qualitytime to your child, this all is a waste. All the children need propertime from their parents schedule so that they can share their mattersand can develop friendly bond with the parents, Moreover scolding,objecting or beating all the time will distant the child, carelessnesstowards the child always make situations worse and weak between parentsand the child. Additionally I will say one more thing neglected childcan feel unwanted and lonely and this is the time when he or she canfall prey to a bad company or under peer pressure. The relationshipbetween you and your child should be healthy and happy, Parents mustprovide their child the freedom to share and express their views but ina disciplinary manner.

Ms. Renu Kala

26 July 2012 17:29jump to comments