“If you see something, say something,” – CPA Director, Ann Greene
―Rally to raise awareness of child abuse held in Reg. 3
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 26, 2019.
Over 200 Region Three residents participated in a rally to raise awareness of the fight against child abuse on September 25.
Members from Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), Ministry of Education, Regional Executive Office, Region Three and scores of schoolchildren took part in the march which commenced at the Region 3’s Department of Education and concluded at the Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling, WBD.
In her remarks, Director of Childcare and Protection Agency Ann Greene called on those gathered to do their part to end the scourge. “We have to prevent it, from happening, we have to save the children, so you have to know the facts and to be vigilant and watch out for children.”
The CPA Director also underscored her call by providing statistics for the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara Region. “General Reports for region three, for the period January to August 2019, there were 536 reports of child abuse received from this region and investigated the most reported form of abuse was neglect with 287 reports, followed by physical abuse with 124 reports and sexual abuse with 103 reports.”
Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott who was present at the rally noted the importance for every Guyanese be vigilant and have a listening ear to safeguard Guyana’s children from sexual perpetrators.
“This country of Guyana has a collection of agencies who look out for the welfare of children. We have the Police Force, religious institutions and the village. It must be noted that the village has a crucial role to play in looking out for your children… the Government has passed a Juvenile Justice Act to ensure perpetrators are brought before the courts and prosecuted,” Minister Scott said.
Commander of “D” Division, Superintendent, Dion Moore who was also among the gathering highlighted that the Guyana Police Force collaborates with the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) and other stakeholders to speedily attend to all sorts of child sexual abuse cases.
“We will embrace the fight to protect the rights of the children and to ensure that child sexual abuse is not tolerated. Often the victims are females but we must understand that a lot of cases, males are also victims. Parents and guardians must stop the practice of sweeping these matters under the carpet. Instead, address the issue and remove the mental and emotional trauma that child will live with for years,” Superintendent Moore stated.
Persons were not only sensitised on the fight against Child Sexual Abuse but were also entertained by local artistes, Michelle King aka “Big Red” and Calvin Burnette and students from the West Demerara and Vergenoegen Secondary Schools.
Similar rallies will be held in other regions to increase awareness about the fight to end child abuse. Child Protection Week is being observed from September 22 to 28 under the theme: “Promoting social change to stop the violation of children”.