VPA condemns murder of child
The Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) has condemned the killing of 14-year-old Yetanya Francis of Arnett Gardens who was raped, maimed, and burnt recently.
The alliance is urging community members to work with the security forces and provide the necessary information so that the perpetrator(s) can be brought to justice.
"This is not the time to shield the perpetrator(s). Work with the security forces and with the other state agencies to ensure the safety our nation's children," urged the VPA.
The alliance noted that the family of Francis will need grief counselling and therapy to get through this difficult period.
"They may get the attention for four or five days, but they will require, at the very least, two months of help and therapy. It is the assistance in the long term that will get them through this," said the VPA.
The Alliance also expressed concerns about the younger sibling of Yetanya, who they say will become traumatised. "Children are resilient and often bounce back from the most difficult experiences. But when their capacity to deal with the stress of violence is overwhelmed, even the most resilient child will experience the effects of trauma," noted the alliance.
The VPA cautioned the media in terms of how incidents of this nature are reported on. "It is imperative that the event is not glorified. The data shows that when it is reported in this manner, this is a form of re-victimisation of the family of the victim," said the VPA.
The alliance noted that the levels of crime and violence against the nation's children are unacceptable. Fifty-five children were victims of homicide in 2017, which represented a 34 per cent increase over the previous year.