Child Advocacy Centres now equipped to record child abuse digitally

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday donated $3.9M in equipment and supplies to assist in providing a safe place for abused children in Guyana.

The equipment and supplies donated to the Child Advocacy Centres in Regions, 1, 2, 4 and 7 include desktop computers, cameras and tripods, televisions, chairs and desks.

The Head of Missions for UNICEF in Guyana, Sylvie Fouet said the equipment will be used to document and record stories of child sexual abuse which will then be passed on to the Police and other relevant authorities.

“Instead of the children encountering different services, it’s bringing all those services in one space…this is a place where they could come and be dealt with whatever the challenge may be,” Fouet said.

This will help in preventing the abused child from experiencing double-trauma by repeating their abuse more than once.

According to Fouet, this system has actually proven to be efficient in solving and managing abuse cases

“Fifty-three cases of sexual abuse within the last six months on children have been documented…so I think the relevance of it is we’re bringing the science with the counselling and what we didn’t had before was the capacity to document from a scientific point of view,” Fouet said.

Meanwhile, Regional Health Officer for Region Four, Quincy Jones said Clonbrook on the East Coast of Demerara and Timehri on the East Bank of Demerara have the highest documented record of child sexual abuse in Region Four.

Jones said they are partnering with the Ministry of Social Protection to assist in the local delivery of services to sexually abused children in the seven Child Advocacy Centres in the country.

“In consultation with the Ministry of Social Protection who follow through with the cases they identify Clonbrook and Timehri as two of the areas where they really need to install these services,” Jones said.

Other child advocacy centres in Regions one, two and seven are expected to be fully operational before the end of December 2019.

It is expected that these centres will treat over 100 cases of child sexual abuse per year.

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