NGOs need to adopt trauma-informed approach when dealing with sexual abuse victims - YCK

01 Jan 2024 03:00pm
YCK founder Datuk Dr Hartini Zainudin.
YCK founder Datuk Dr Hartini Zainudin.

SHAH ALAM - Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK) founder Datuk Dr Hartini Zainudin highlights the need for child protection non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to adopt a trauma-informed approach when dealing with victims of sexual abuse.

The non-profit organisation YCK was catered to protect the needs and well-being of children, especially those who reside in and around Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur.

With over a decade of experience in child advocacy, YCK championed the call for a better child protection framework in Malaysia.

Emphasising the importance of prioritising children as victims, YCK highlighted the crucial need for a safe and supportive environment tailored to meet the specific needs of young survivors.

"Through our observations, we have identified the need for a trauma-informed approach to intervention and support services.

“This ensures that every interaction and intervention take into account the potential impact of trauma on every aspect of the child's life," she said.

The foundation, she said, placed a strong emphasis on involving child advocates who are trained professionally for the best interests of the child, ensuring their voices are heard and respected throughout the judicial process and beyond.

"We need better resources, including age-appropriate educational materials, therapeutic activities, and support groups, all geared towards helping children process their experiences, build resilience, and recover from trauma," Hartini said.

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She also stressed the importance of collaboration with mental health professionals, educators, community organisations, and government agencies to expand the continuum of care and support available to child victims.

"We believe in a holistic and well-rounded approach to addressing the needs of child victims,”

“By bringing together professionals from different disciplines, including law enforcement, mental health, child advocacy, and education, YCK can ensure that the various aspects of a child's well-being and recovery are addressed comprehensively."

As a non-profit organisation, YCK aimed to provide a safe space for every child and allowed them to reach their full potential by organising an array of activities in their drop-in centres.

The foundation recognizes the significance of creating a space where children feel heard, believed, and supported, with their rights and well-being put at the forefront.

In addition, to aid in a better healing process, YCK advocated for enhanced collaboration involving caregivers, guardians, and other support systems while also offering resources and guidance to help them understand and fulfill their roles in supporting the child.

The YCK’s commitment to advocate for a trauma-informed, collaborative, and comprehensive approach reflected a dedication to the well-being and recovery of child victims of sexual abuse.

Through these initiatives, they aimed to create a more supportive and understanding environment that facilitates the healing process for these young survivors.

According to a report published by the Statistics Department, sexual crimes involving children have increased from 2021 to 2022.

Among the crimes reported, rape recorded the highest increase alongside incest cases with a spike of almost 10 per cent.

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