Mon | May 29, 2017

Child abuse worry

Published:Monday | June 1, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison is reporting that 125 children have been victims of violence and abuse such as shootings and murders across the island over the last 17 months.

Clarendon and Westmoreland tied at fifth position with nine cases each throughout the island for the period January 1, 2014 to May 15, 2015. The first four parishes were Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine and St James.

However, the above figure does not include the three teens who were killed in the Monymusk Housing Scheme in Clarendon on April 15.

Effortville, Bucknor, Bucks Common and Hayes are some of the communities in Clarendon that were listed as problem spots where children are under attack.

"I raise those specifics with you because I want you to realise how real the problem is here in Clarendon. Very often, the question is asked what is the government going to do about it. But I'm here to tell you that it has to be a partnership, the government is here to facilitate, but you the community must join in and help stop the increasing abuse of our children," Gordon Harrison said.

She was speaking at the launch of the Prime Minister's Town Hall Meetings dubbed 'Children's Safety and Security, Our Priority" at the Edwin Allen High School in Frankfield, Clarendon last Thursday.

"I want to appeal to you and to you to recognise that you hold the solution in your hands. It is your information and your willingness to be vigilant at all times that will curb this particular problem that is affecting our children," Gordon Harrison added

The Office of the Children's Registry (OCR) says the increased number of child abuse cases being reported is a 'worrying trend.'

According to the registrar, Greg Smith, there has been a particular increase of cases in Clarendon with the highest number of reports coming out of Frankfield.

"Frankfield reported over 870 cases of child abuse within the last year, 360 were males and 490 females. It's a worrying trend and we encourage all our participants, all stakeholders and children to break the silence on child abuse and make all reports to the OCR, CDA (Child Development Agency) or CISOCA (Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse), Smith said."