N Touch
Monday 17 December 2018
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Letters to the Editor

Stolen innocence:Children under siege

THE EDITOR: Imagine for one second an eight-year-old child, the cutest one you can think of. Now imagine that child breaking into fits of tears or rage uncontrollably. No one understands why this child has these violent mood swings, going from happy to tears and shrieks in a few moments.

This precious child acts out by fighting other children or stealing.

The child also says strange things during playtime, phrases like “I’m going to... his butt” and worse.

This child is going to face an increased risk of suicide and depression throughout their lifetime. He or she may become a substance abuser as an adult in order to cope (Kilpatrick et al 1992).

According to the TTPS, the damage done to this child has been repeated 564 times this year, an increase over the 360 reports in 2017. Overall there has been a 59 per cent increase in serious crimes against children.

This is a moral and social crisis that demands our full attention. While we have become numb to the epidemic of crime in our country we must find the strength to fight back. Those of us who are in positions of power and privilege have a moral responsibility to use that power to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.

This is a crisis that demands our full attention. A meeting of all stakeholders ought to be convened urgently to discuss an action plan to end this scourge.

I urge every reader as a concerned citizen to write your political and religious leaders to demand immediate action to solve this problem.

As it stands anyone who has interacted with the Children’s Authority or the TTPS Victims and Witness Support Unit know that there is a huge backlog of cases to be dealt with. More resources should be earmarked for these agencies as well as for civil society organisations such as the Rape Crisis Society and the Organization for Abused and Battered Individuals.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Forensics Sciences Centre are also underfunded. Until these institutions function properly every politician’s promise to reduce crime is a blatant lie.

If our children become increasingly broken we risk reaping an even more broken society in the next generation. Every effort must be made now to guard the innocence of our nation’s children and every available resource allocated to this cause.

JONATHAN BHAGAN

director, Organization for

Abused and Battered Individuals

chairman, Caribbean

Committee Against Sex Crimes

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