Region Ten recorded highest cases of child abuse in 2017
DPI, Guyana, Monday, March 5, 2018
Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice) has recorded the highest cases of child abuse, with some 22.1 percent in 2017. It is followed by Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) with 20.6 percent and Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) with 17.6 percent.
This was disclosed by Director of the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA), Ann Greene at the recently held special meeting with religious organisations in Guyana, at the Umana Yana, Kingston Georgetown.
Greene said that the most common form of reported child abuse is neglect, for which Region Ten recorded some 12. 0 percent. While Regions One, Eight and Nine did not record any child neglect cases, those regions recorded high rates of child sexual abuses.
“All the regions have recorded sexual abuse, so it’s right across the country. But if you look at where the hurt is for children, it’s in the home. In the place where they should be loved the most, they are being hurt. Mothers are the main perpetrators and fathers,” Greene explained.
She noted that these statistics are not reflective of an increase of child abuse, but rather, is attributed to the multimedia child abuse awareness campaign that was launched by CPA last year.
“…There are more channels to report and persons are more willing to talk about child abuse, but there is still too much silence, particularly on childhood sexual abuse which is done behind closed doors and victims are without a voice”, Greene explained.
The CPA Director cited an urgent need for ‘change’ in adult behaviour and attitudes towards children. The Ministry of Social Protection, she reiterated, cannot do it alone, hence the need for partnerships at the grassroots level in order to prevent child abuse and promote child well-being.
The Child Care and Protection Agency is responsible for making timely interventions in matters concerning children; this includes any action that is deemed necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of children or prevent, reduce and alleviate the effects of the abuse and neglect of children by offering effective services their rights entitle them to.
The public is being urged to help abused children or report any suspected cases, by contacting the ministry’s hotline number -227-0979.
By: Synieka Thorne