Incest is considered taboo in Indigenous communities, a study done by the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs and the United Nations Children’s Fund has noted.
Of those interviewed for the study, there was a unanimous conclusion that “cases of incest happen among the Indigenous Peoples and they involve not only father-daughter abuse but also sex among siblings, stepfathers and stepdaughters.”
But the study noted that “the Police were categorical to mention that these cases were never formally reported, but they have heard that they happen in the communities they patrol.”
The study noted that there was a high incidence of teenage pregnancy among indigenous girls.
It quoted 2014 data which shows that 21 per cent of adolescent girls from indigenous communities begin childbearing, six per cent higher than the national average.
Anecdotal information collected for the new study shows that the current numbers could be very high.
“For example, in Santa Rosa, capital of the Moruca sub-district, out of 350 births that occurred in 2016, approximately 90 were from adolescents, (that is) one out of every four births occurred with a mother younger than 16 years old,” the study stated.