Radio network joins in to denounce violence against children
World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November
KUALA LUMPUR, 13 November 2008 – Malaysia’s Media Prima Radio Network has stepped forward to denounce violence against children in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The network which manages the popular Hot.fm and Fly.fm radio stations helped conceptualise and produce two public service announcements (PSAs), one each in English and Bahasa Malaysia, in support of the UN agency’s efforts to uphold and protect children’s rights. The PSAs will be aired on Hot.fm and Fly.fm from 13 to 18 November 2008 in conjunction with World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse which falls officially on 19 November.
“We are proud to be a part in initiatives to create a culture of prevention of child abuse,” says Media Prima Radio Network General Manager, Mr. Seelan Paul. “We hope these PSAs will raise awareness, mobilise public opinion and action to ensure that every child in Malaysia lives a life free from violence.”
Hidden behind closed doors
In 2007, Malaysia’s Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development reported 1,494 child abuse cases, with neglect and child sexual abuse cases being the highest. Nearly all the cases reported took place in the home, with abuse mainly committed by male relatives.
The causes of violence against children are complex. Family breakdown, stress, chronic poverty, unemployment, mental health disorders, substance abuse, homelessness, community violence as well as lack of quality parental time are some of the significant factors contributing to cases of abuse and neglect of children.
According to UNICEF’s Representative to Malaysia Mr. Youssouf Oomar, violence against children in Malaysia as in other parts of the world, remain mainly hidden behind closed doors making it difficult for an accurate determination of its prevalence.
“Tragically, violence occurs in all spaces most familiar to children: in homes, schools, parks and communities they live in. Only the most extreme child abuse and neglect stories unfortunately are reported, often involving tragic elements of disturbing injuries, sexual abuse or even death,” declares Mr. Youssouf.
“Based on our experience however for every 1 reported case, there is probably nine that goes unreported as most victims and their families remain too ashamed or unable to report the violations against them.”
Running out of safe spaces
The 30-second PSA provides a chilling reenactment of a child being abused in school, at home and on the streets with an alarming conclusion that children are running out of spaces to feel protected and safe in.
“We felt that we needed to break the silence that shrouds such despicable acts against children, our most vulnerable citizens. This is why we chose this approach. The PSAs however end with a call to action to every single person in Malaysia to say No to violence against children,” adds Mr. Seelan.
Media Prima Radio Network joins several other partners – both from the government and non-government sectors – that have taken ownership and responsibility of children’s protection as one that affects the entire community.
“We are delighted to receive Media Prima Radio Network’s support to inspire Malaysians to stand up against violence. We hope that this awareness helps build the foundation for a long-term commitment to action at every level of society”, affirms Mr. Youssouf. “Our anger over a child’s suffering must be accompanied with proactive action”!
Klang Valley denizens are invited to tune in to FM 97.6 (Hot.fm) and FM 95.8 (Fly.fm) to listen to the PSAs.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
ABOUT World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse
ABOUT Media Prima Radio Network
ABOUT UNICEF and Child Protection
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Shiao Eek, Tee
World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse 2008
Say No to Violence Against Children