“Criminalise Sexual Violence” – CPA Director
– Turkeyen-Tain Talks raises awareness on the importance of addressing Sexual Violence in Guyana
DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 26, 2019.
Director of Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), Ann Greene has called for the outlawing of all forms of sexual violence.
The CPA Director was at the time addressing the latest Turkeyen-Tain Talks held on Thursday at the Pegasus Hotel.
Participants included representatives from the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), Region 4, Regional Health Officer, UNICEF, Members from the Justice System, along with several NGO partners.
Greene noted that violent acts against children often go unreported and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) must effectively address this.
“We at the Childcare and Protection Agency work assiduously to ensure that women and children are protected and the establishment of the Child Advocacy Centers in 2014, provides a haven for children who were sexually molested. We help them get back into society through good counselling and mentoring,” Greene said.
The CPA Director added that in 2018, there were over 500 reported cases of child sexual abuse across the ten administrative regions. She highlighted that several extreme measures will be implemented to combat this terrible act.
Opened in 2017, the Sexual Offences Court is the first of its kind in Guyana and the Caribbean and has positively provided justice to victims of sexual violence. Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, who was among the guest speakers, highlighted the positive changes brought about by the court.
“In 2017, it [the Sexual Offences Court] has seen some 53 cases with convictions totalling 33 and 20 acquittals, thus far. Sentences from such convictions ranged from nine years to life imprisonment. Those crimes for which trials were conducted included seven rape cases, 21 cases of sexual activity with a child under 16 years, 15 cases of sexual activity with a child and family member and one case carnal knowledge,” Justice Cummings- Edwards said.
In his remarks, Region Four’s Regional Health Officer, Dr. Quincy Jones, highlighted that members within the medical field are often the first responders and have over the years worked alongside the Police Force to effectively and promptly solve sexual offences.
“We work closely with the Childcare and Protection Agency, UNICEF and several other NGOs which give very positive feedback. For many years, persons suffered in silence. Last month, UNICEF donated $3M worth in equipment to better combat this crime. We should clearly state that sexual offences are a Public Health matter also.”
The Turkeyen-Tain Talks are a forum to facilitate informed and respectful discourse on matters of public interest.