3 Dec 2015

Fiji doc says child sex abuse needs to be detected earlier

1:19 pm on 3 December 2015

A paediatrician in Fiji says often child sexual abuse is not detected early enough and there needs to be more awareness.

Dr Reati Mataika is a paediatrician at the Colonial War Memorial hospital in Suva and also works with the Ministry of Health on child protection.

She says very young children are brought in by their mothers, but too often the abuse has been happening for months or even years.

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Photo: 123RF

Dr Mataiki says there have been some brutal cases.

"Really severe cases where the child is actually not only sexually abused but beaten up and then you know brought into us semi-conscious. So we've had two really big cases like that. Fortunately they both survived but then you know unfortunately they will both have complications and problems associated with being abused at such a young age."

Dr Mataika says sadly some very young victims have contracted HIV.

The UN is marking 16 Days Against Gender-Based Violence and Dr Mataiki says there's a need to hold up better role models for young men.