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Gender Ministry records 184 cases in August

Mariyam Malsa
16 September 2020, MVT 18:18
A protestor holding up a sign that reads "who will take responsibility?" in a demonstration held on the streets of Male' City, against all forms of sexual violence and to hold perpetrators and the authorities accountable, on June 29, 2020. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
16 September 2020, MVT 18:18

The Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services, on Tuesday, revealed that 184 cases were received and attended by the ministry in August 2020.

According to monthly statistics publicised by the ministry, the aforementioned figure represents a nine percent increase compared to the number of reported cases in August 2019.

Notably, a total of 103 cases were submitted regarding violence perpetrated against children. Instances of sexual abuse were noted to be the most frequently reported with 36 cases brought to the attention of authorities throughout the month.

The ministry also recorded 28 cases of gender-based and domestic violence in August, the majority of which consisted of physical abuse and emotional abuse cases, with 10 reports each. The remaining cases include three cases of rape, two cases of sexual abuse, one case of neglect, one case of financial abuse and one case of property damage.

A further 16 cases were lodged regarding family issues, consisting of 10 reports concerning child custody, five on parenting issues and one case pertaining to child maintenance.

Earlier in June, Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services Aishath Mohamed Didi had confirmed that the number of domestic violence cases reported in Maldives saw an increase with the easing of certain lockdown measures at the end of May.

Globally, alarm has been raised over the higher incidence of domestic violence and gender-based violence amid COVID-19 lockdown measures and movement restrictions, with several vulnerable individuals forced to remain in at-risk environments.

Since the beginning of the year, public ire has grown considerably, regarding the government's meagre record of arresting and convicting sexual offenders, despite numerous promises to protect the rights of children and women.

In July, a collective of gender equality advocates, originating from Family Legal Clinic (FLC), Nufoshey and Uthema Maldives, launched the #FundOurSafety initiative, voicing a list of demands including the establishment of shelters and reallocation of state funds for the protection of victims.

According to 'The Maldives Study on Women’s Health and Life Experiences' conducted by the Gender Ministry in 2006, one in three women and girls have reported experiencing either physical or sexual violence, or both, at least once during their lifetimes.

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