Over 3,000 children abused in 2020

mothers warned to be careful of who they let into their homes & not to dismiss what children tell them

Three thousand, one hundred and twenty-nine (3,129) children were abused in 2020 – a number that has unsettled Hon. Dr Vindhya Persaud, Minister of Human Services and Social Security. 

“I am horrified….We are all well aware of the recent instances where children who were killed, killed in their homes, and by a parent or a person who was in charge of their safety. This is deeply disturbing to me. And I’m sure every one of you is as concerned as I am about the well-being and welfare of our children,” Hon Persaud stated in a message, shortly after the reviewing the breakdown of the figures.

The chilling report, compiled by the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), also revealed that 41 percent of girls between the ages of 14 and 18 were sexually abused at home.

Analyses indicate that many of the victims were violated and abused by persons brought into the homes, especially by their mothers.

Troubled by this revelation, Minister Persaud made an impassioned plea to these mothers, who may be driven by economic hardship and financial opportunism, to “be very careful of the persons that you let into your homes.”

“You are exposing your children to the unknown, and you’re placing your children sometimes in harm’s way. Be very conscious of your child’s whereabouts and with whom you leave your child with,” she appealed.  

Furthermore, the reluctance of parents to believe, dismiss or fail to act when a child tells them about any instances or violence the abuse are of great concern to Minister Persaud.

“Take it seriously. We owe it to our children, to develop a culture in our homes, where you’re open to listening to what they have to say about their well-being, and more importantly, about their own concerns for their safety,” the Minister added.

The closure of schools due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Hon Persaud pointed out, has pushed children into close proximity with the perpetrators of abuse and violence, which unfortunately limits the reporting options.

Disturbing figures

Between January and December 2020 – 3,129 children between ages one to 18 were either abused physically, sexually, verbally; neglected, abandoned or witnessed abuse. Of the 3,129 cases, 1,698 were girls.

The worrisome figures revealed 688 girls between the ages of 14 and 18 were sexually abused. Overall, 632 girls were neglected; 258 were physically abused; 104 experienced verbal abuse; 12 witnessed abuse and 4 were abandoned.

Meanwhile, neglect was the most common type of abuse among the boys, and out of the 751 cases reported – 674 were neglected between the ages of 0-13. And while 1,431 boys were abused in total – 432 of them were physically abused; 127 abused sexually; 102 verbally abused; 10 abandoned and 4 witnessed some sort of abuse.

Alarmingly, 42 percent of the 2,822 perpetrators who committed these heinous acts were mothers. The records showed that many of them physically abused their children. CPA records also revealed that 596 fathers and 172 grandparents abused children.


Age range PhysicalSexualVerbalNeglectAbandonedWitnessed abuseTotal


Age range PhysicalSexualVerbalNeglectAbandonedWitnessed abuseTotal

Ministry’s Intervention

The children’s welfare is paramount to the Ministry, and through the CPA 1,638 of the victims received short to long term counseling; 592 cases were handled by law enforcement officers; 62 cases were placed before the Courts and 92 victims were removed from their parents’/guardians home and placed either in institutional care or with other relatives.