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Dubai: Parents were responsible for 98 per cent of child abuse cases received by the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) in 2018, an official report released on Thursday said.

Ganima Hassan Al Bahri, Director of Care and Social Services Department at DFWAC, said that the foundation received 1,027 cases, including 52 child abuse cases, last year

“We provided shelter and care for 33 children. 54 per cent of whom were Emiratis. Among those cases, 83 per cent were abused by the father while 15 per cent were abused by the mother,” Al Bahri said.

The most common type of abuse children suffered in the hands of their parents was emotional and verbal. Other forms included physical, financial and sexual abuse.

“We received cases of parents insulting their children or physically abusing them by kicking, burning and assaulting them. We noticed some fathers neglected their children by not getting birth certificates for them which in turn affected their education and well-being. Eight per cent of the cases received last year were of sexual abuse,” she added.

Meanwhile, the foundation said that they received eight cases of human trafficking, including five cases of children under the age of 18.

“Five cases were of females aged 13, 14 and 15. Traffickers forged their passports with an increased age to enable them to enter the country. 75 per cent of them were sexually exploited. The children targeted were largely from the remote villages of East Asia. Their families were made to believe that their girls would be given a decent job in hotels, beauty shops or as maids. But when the children would arrive here, they would be forced to work in the sex industry,” Al Bahri said.

New building

In 2018, the foundation built a villa attached to its main complex, with funds from HSBC, to accommodate 25 children.

It also received 1,027 cases last year, down from 1,200 in 2017.

The foundation provided shelter in 85 cases — 87 per cent of the cases were resolved while 13 per cent will be settled in 2019.

“Domestic violence topped the number of cases at 526. Only 19 cases of total domestic violence cases were sheltered at the foundation, and 23.6 per cent of this category were Emiratis. Victims of domestic violence were mostly female (513) but we had 13 males who also suffered domestic violence. Types of abuse were verbal, financial, physical and sexual,” she said.

The foundation received 27 cases of women being abused, of which three were Emiratis.

“Types of abuse experienced by victims was mainly emotional, verbal abuse. We received cases of women suffered neglect, physical, financial and sexual abuse. The perpetrators were either a friend, employer or stranger,” Al Bahir added.

Helpline

The foundation has urged all victims to call on its hotline number 800111 for any enquiry on support for women and children.