Tuesday 20 August, 2019

Some children being sexually abused by family members - CISOCA

Children across the island, especially those living within the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew, are being warned that sex crimes, including rape and sexual touching, are being noticeably committed in some cases by persons closely related to the victims, including teachers.

A mature female relative who has allegedly been taking sexual advantage of a male teenager was highlighted as one of the cruel incidents of sexual offences involving children that have been recorded by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) this year.

And according to head of CISOCA, Senior Superintendent Charmaine Shand, officers of the police unit, who are themselves often left traumatised after dealing with these emotional sex cases, are now forced to warn persons, including minors, to be careful of some close relatives, and not just strangers.

“Since the start of the year, we have seen where most of our crimes are committed by persons who are known to the victims. So we now no longer tell persons (just) to be careful of strangers. So what do we tell them? These are our fathers, our stepfathers, our stepmothers, our brothers, our uncles, our cousins, who are abusing our children. A grandmother who takes advantage of a grandson. We have cases of aunts taking advantage of their nephews,” she said.

Shand, who was giving the main address at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Kingston last Thursday, said CISOCA has recorded 375 reported cases of sexual abuse within Kingston and St Andrew since the start of the year. Most of the cases, she said, involved children who have been raped, sexually groomed or inappropriately touched by even educators.

“Since the start of the year, this is what we have before us: 375 cases, (which includes) 103 cases of rape, 182 (cases of) sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16, 17 cases of sexual touching and, bear in mind, we have 21 cases of grievous sexual assault, and we have sexual grooming,” the CISOCA head disclosed.

As it relates to sexual touching of a child by an adult, Shand told the audience that parents should listen to their children’s complaints about such acts, which can lead to other forms of sexual activities.

“Some of us are very comfortable with touching, so our children or a child says to you that they were touched in a particular way that makes them very uncomfortable. Some of us say to the child, ‘Never mind that man. Why yuh coming to report that to me? That is just a touch.’… A touch leads to other things,” the senior superintendent stressed.

Meanwhile, Shand posited that some parents are not mature enough to offer proper guidance to their children, and called on citizens to report incidents of underage sexual activities, which often result in them (the children) becoming pregnant.

“Since the start of the year, CISOCA in Kingston and St Andrew only, has recorded 182 cases of sexual intercourse with persons under 16 years’ old, and it should be noted that a number of these reports are from children, and they were only reported because they are pregnant,” she pointed out.

To drive home the point, Shand cited that in some cases, “children are (now) having children… So when they turn up at the hospital, the doctor will tell you if they are not issued with a customer reference form or a receipt from the police, then they are sent back to CISOCA, and sometimes this is the only reason why these matters are reported to the police.”

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