Child abuse on the increase- CCPA calls for public’s assistance
The Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) has disclosed that there is an increase in cases of child abuse and child sexual abuse. It is, therefore, calling for the public to assist in reducing this scourge.
Director of the agency, Ann Greene said a report from January to July 2016 shows that in Guyana, there were 2,238 reports of child abuse. Of the sum, there were 441 cases of sexual abuse.
“It really is too much, no child should be abused,” Greene said.
The CCPA Director, who was speaking at the Child Protection Week Rally in Linden on Wednesday, expounded that the figures only represent the reported crimes. She said that there are many unreported cases that should also be revealed.
“This silence of childhood sexual abuse is what protects the abuser and enables the abuse to continue, so parents, caregivers and all, I want you to know that children who are being sexually abused are silent children, but you have to see the signs,” Greene urged.
Meanwhile, Senior Child Protection Officer, Tionna October explained that CCPA has been working diligently with the police to penalise perpetrators.
“Even though we submit our statements, and we complete that aspect and do the medical when it goes to the police they have to do another one, and sometimes when it goes to the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution) she sends back for a forensic interview,” October explained.
October pointed out that this makes it difficult for perpetrators to be dealt with accordingly, explaining that most times when perpetrators are released after the 72- hour period, they abscond to Suriname or elsewhere and, “when the files come back for you to prosecute them, you can’t locate them.”
The Child Care and Protection Agency provides for victims of child abuse and hosts group counsel sessions once a week. There is also an empowerment teenage pregnancy programme which should be starting next month.
Only yesterday (Thursday, September 22, 2016), News Room reported of a nine-year-old girl who was continually raped over a two year period, until her fifteen-year-old brother killed the perpetrator. The girl along with her two siblings were eventually placed in the care of the Guyana Women Miners Organisation (GWMO), while her elder brother who committed the crime was charged with murder.