Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency Ann Greene has sounded a stern warning to mothers who know their children are being sexually abused but choose to ignore it, noting that they can be charged under the Sexual Offences Act.
“Some mothers know their children are being molested, it is done with their full knowledge but they appear to be comfortable with it and may even threaten the children if they tell, what and what they will do them, or tell them the man is going to go to prison and the family will suffer.
“So, the children, with love for the family, will not give the statement,” Greene said on Wednesday during her address at a virtual rally to observe Child Protection Week.
She noted that while many children do give statements, they will leave out the part that the mother knew about the abuse
“Then, if we get to the point to bring the charge, many mothers would work on the children to change the story before the court hearing.”
While acknowledging that some mothers are victims themselves, Greene noted that by not speaking out, the cycle of abuse will continue in the family.
The Director said even though the Sexual Offences Act makes provision for these mothers to be charged, she is yet to get the Police to take such action.
“This must stop. In the Sexual Offences Act, there is provision for charging mothers who are turning a blind eye. Mothers who are knowingly complicit in acts of sexual abuse of their children can be charged as accessory to the crime. I am yet to get the Police to bring such a charge. It is needed more than ever now to send the message of deterrence. So we are working on it.”
Meanwhile, the Childcare Director also called out professionals for turning a blind eye.
“It is so difficult sometimes to get health professionals on physical examination of very young children, for the court case, to agree that a child’s hymen is not intact, you become a witness in the case and can be called to testify.
“All this is part of the investigation process that has proven to be very challenging indeed. This is in spite of all the education and awareness programmes we have been doing and these rallies have been around for more than 6 years, with me speaking on all these topics before but persons are still not getting the message.”