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Maldives violence prevention community committees aplenty

families spending time in a park in Malé

The original Dhivehi article was published on Avas.mv website on 30th January 2018.

The following is a loose translation:

Increasing number of domestic violence and child abuse cases in the Maldives is a cause for great concern for everyone. Whenever gender ministry publishes statistics, talks on the subject are especially more. Maldives has experienced a tormentful 3-4 years in terms of family issues. This also includes the merciless way 3-year old Mohamed Ibthihal died. Is there are a way to reduce these increasing violence issues?

The official body holding this big responsibility, gender ministry, has the biggest role in this. To reduce the cases of violence in the Maldives, without leaving any island behind, gender ministry has commenced working on establishing community committees to monitor violence cases. While gender ministry has opened up committees in every island of the four atolls in the northern Maldives, Addu City and Fuvahmulah City also are having committees.

Gender Minister Zenysha Shaheed Zaki

Gender Minister Zenysha Shaheed Zaki

The ministry says that they are in the process of establishing such a committee in Gaafu Alifu Atoll as well and while training work has begun, and in those islands where they are no ministry office, in the instance, an issue crops up, they can call up and easily report the incident says the ministry. Let’s consider this as a step forward.

Atoll’s where community committees are established:

  • Shaviyani Atoll
  • Baa Atoll
  • Kaafu Atoll
  • Gaafu Alifu Atoll
  • Fuvahmulah City
  • Addu City

Gender Ministry’s Assistant Director Ibrahim Mohamed said today, the fact that Maldives is experiencing an increasing number of family issues is something the whole community should be aware of. We need to control these problems. And he believes that to make that happen, the community committees established in islands will also play a leading role.

‘The committee’s’ purpose is to provide assistance for children who need protection, elderly people, disabled people and those who are enduring all types of abuse. And to extend protection and give them the required assistance to seek justice,’ he said.

In the Maldives, from family issues, the largest number is cases of child abuse cases. Last year alone, there were more than 400 child sexual abuse cases lodged at gender ministry.

According to the statistics that gender ministry publishes monthly, last year the most cases were of various abuses to children.

From the child abuse, the next most common were physical and psychological abuse cases. There were 354 physical abuse cases and 181 psychological abuse cases reported to gender ministry last year.

What role would the community committees be able to play to prevent these issues?

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