Over 500 reports of sexual abuse for 2017
Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency, Ann Greene is urging families and communities to break their silence on all forms of abuse against children, as the body observes Child Protection Week.
During a rally in Region Two on Wednesday, Greene disclosed that reports received for the year amount to 516 for child sexual abuse. She noted that Region Two (Pomeroon – Supenaam) has the second highest rate of child sexual abuse in the country.
The Child Care Director pointed out that there are numerous cases where children are being assaulted, most often by a family member, but persons are not reporting this issue, while the child does not want to talk because of threats against them or their family members or because they were misguided that they will bring shame to their family.
The country is currently reeling from one case of sexual abuse against a 12-year-old boy who was eventually murdered; persons in the community knew of the child molester prior to the incident and even made reports to the police.
Also speaking at Wednesday’s event was Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally, who noted that the numbers reported may not be the complete extent of the problem since the crime is a hidden one which goes unreported in many instances. She, therefore, called on parents to make a commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of their children.
According to the Ministry, Ally urged parents to listen to their children and said no longer should they try to cover up the issue of child abuse.
In observance of Child Protection Week 2017, children from various schools on the Essequibo Coast and stakeholders joined the Ministry of Social Protection, Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA), to rally in the fight against child sexual abuse.
The Child Care agency earlier this year launched a national Child abuse campaign to sensitize the population of the plight of children who suffer abuse.
Child Protection Week is being observed under the theme, “Partnering with families and communities for positive outcomes for children.”