A total of 168 girls aged under 16 have reportedly been sexually abused in the country within the month of September 2023, State Minister of Women and Child Affairs, Geetha Kumarasinghe revealed.
Speaking to the media in this regard this afternoon (25 Oct.), the State Minister noted that of 168 cases of abuse, 22 of them resulted in child pregnancies.
Thus, the State Minister urged Sri Lanka’s Police Department to take strict actions in this regard, and further called for the highest possible punishment to be meted out to those found guilty of such crimes.
She further requested all parents, school teachers and principals to remain vigilant, and protect their children from potentially falling prey to such attacks, highlighting that “most of the time, children are often abused by a close family member, someone in their own home”.
The State Minister noted that while discussions pertaining to these growing concerns are due to be held with the President, measures have already been taken to introduce new Acts pertaining to the protection of women and children.
When questioned as to what or who was to be blamed for these staggering figures, Kumarasinghe replied that while the police force too, is to be blamed for their negligence, the increased use of narcotic substances too, plays an integral role in such crimes.
Thus, she noted that while she, in her capacity as the State Minister of Women and Child Affairs, is responsible for the safety of women and children, Sri Lanka’s society, as a whole, too, bears such a responsibility.