Like in most countries, only extreme child abuse and neglect cases are reported in Malaysia, often involving tragic elements of disturbing injuries, sexual abuse or even death.
International experience suggests that reported cases are likely to represent only 10 per cent of total cases perpetrated as most victims and their families remain too ashamed or unable to report the violations against them.
Violence affects children’s physical and mental health, impairs their ability to learn and socialise, and undermines their development as functional adults and good parents later in life. In the most severe cases, violence against children can also lead to death.
The causes of violence against children are complex. Family breakdown, stress, chronic poverty, unemployment, mental health disorders, substance abuse, homelessness, community violence and lack of quality parental time contribute to cases of abuse and neglect of children.