9 Sep 2014

Arrests highlight Guam abuse

3:42 pm on 9 September 2014

An anti-abuse advocate in Guam says recent arrests highlight the increase in reporting of such cases.

The Pacific Daily News reports that two parents have been arrested under suspicion of family violence and child abuse.

The arrests involve allegations of underfeeding, forcing their children to use a cup as a toilet and boarding up their home to confine the children.

In 2011, the island was rocked by the arrest of two residents over the alleged starvation of a 14 month old.

Cynthia Cabot from the Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence says since then a lot of work has gone into public education.

"People are becoming aware that the way people treat each other is not okay. We do have quite a number of folks who migrate to Guam from our neighbouring country nations. Perhaps in their communities they do not have any laws that prohibit such behaviour but when they come to Guam, they find out quickly that no it isn't okay."

Ms Cabot says 80% of cases are probably still unreported.