SHAH ALAM: Parents may be deterred from coming forward to report child sexual abuse cases after a single mother was charged with filing a false police report.
Women's Aid Organisation, Voice of the Children (VOC) and the Association of Women Lawyers said they were outraged when a mother was charged with filing a fraudulent complaint.
“This case could set a disconcerting precedent which may deter other parents or affected parties from coming forward to report child sexual abuse. Parents should not be afraid to come forward and report the crime, in fact, they should be protected,” Women's Aid Organisation acting executive director Yu Ren Chung (pix) told the media after the case was mentioned at the magistrate's court today.
While VOC chairman Sharmila Sekaran reiterated that it is the responsibility of parents to report such cases.
“Section 28 of the 2001 Child Act mandates family members who believe on reasonable grounds that a child has been sexually abused to lodge a report. Whereas Section 19 of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 states that it is an offence if anyone fails to give information of the commission of a sexual offence against a child,” she said.
The non-governmental organisations expressed hope that the Attorney-General's Chambers and the government would take the necessary steps to rectify the damage.
Maya Ahmad Fuuad, 36 was charged under Section 182 of the Penal Code after she had lodged a report when her five-year-old daughter complained of sexual abuse.
She faces a maximum prison term of six months or an RM2,000 fine if found guilty.
She was alleged to have lodged a fraudulent report against the perpetrator who worked as a driver to her former father-in-law with the intention to cause the police officer to use his authority to hurt the driver on June 30 this year.
The hearing has been fixed for Sept 3.