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Clarifications on child abuse statistics

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Protection from Domestic Violence


Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye
MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC

To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development with regard to the rise in child abuse cases within the family (a) what is the nature of the abuse; (b) what is the profile of the perpetrators; and (c) what are some of the main reasons behind these abuse cases.

1 In 2017, MSF’s Child Protective Service (CPS) investigated 894 cases of child abuse. This is an increase from the 873 cases investigated in 2016, and 551 cases in 2015. The nature of the cases includes physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. In most of these cases, the perpetrator is a family member.

2 The reasons for child abuse are often complex and complicated. For example, caregivers of abused children may themselves be in difficult circumstances and under stress. The problems caregivers face can often have direct impact on children. Many child abuse cases investigated by CPS involve families with multiple stressors such as financial problems and unemployment. We have also encountered caregivers who themselves had prior history of abuse or neglect as a child, are battling drug addictions or mental health issues, or had trouble with the law.