Child sexual abuse case: Preschool prioritizes reputation over children’s safety

Maldivian child in school uniform | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – The parents of the preschooler sexually abused at a Malé school have said that the school is more concerned about its reputation than the children’s safety.

The parents of the 4 year old girl said this in an interview with local news Mihaaru. Following the crime, the parents requested the school to investigate the matter for the safety of the students.

Instead, the school denied that the incident could have occurred at the school itself. Parents of the girl said that the school proceeded to hold a PTA meeting assuring other parents that the crime did not happen in the school.

The school said that people are spreading rumours to destroy the school’s reputation.

Child’s mother and former student of the School

The child has identified the perpetrator as a female janitorial staff or “toilet dhatha” who takes young children to the toilet at the school.

While the school has suspended two of the janitorial staff working on the same floor as the child’s classroom, the child’s parents raise concerns for the students’ safety since the child’s teacher is unable to remember the staff in question and the child states that she was abused on a different floor.

Read the full article by local news Mihaaru written in Dhivehi with details here.

Youth NGO Rise Up Maldives on behalf of school’s parents have released a statement following the incident condemning the crime.

The statement also called for transparency during the investigation. The youth movement also implored the Education and Gender Ministries to investigate whether any other students have been abused at the same school. The parents also called for an audit of all schools to ensure that such a crime does not repeat in any of the Maldives’ schools.

They also called for justice against the perpetrator(s) and all who aided them.