Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Blaine calls for action after abuse caught on video goes viral

Published:Tuesday | September 22, 2020 | 11:26 AM
Convener of Hear The Children's Cry, Betty Ann Blaine - File photo

Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer

Convener of children's advocacy group Hear The Children's Cry, Betty Ann Blaine, says she is furious and disgusted by a video that has gone viral of a young boy being made to smoke what appears to be a marijuana spliff.

In the video, the child was also seen being handed a bottle of beer by an adult, but refused to drink.

Blaine said she is worried that not enough goes into investigating abuses of children, and is calling for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to address the issue.

"Who cares? And it is a question that must be asked of the prime minister of Jamaica. Mr Holness must see this video and tell the people of Jamaica how this child is going to be rescued, and by whom, and whether the people who abused this child will be brought to justice," she said.

"The parent or guardian, or indeed whomever of this child, must be arrested for what they have perpetrated. This is a criminal offence and we should use all tools at our disposal to help solve these crimes," Blaine said.

"This would not be the first video that I am getting where a child is being abused in one way or another like this in a community. But I am asking; so people get these videos, people filmed them, but then what?"

She is suggesting that Crime Stop, a not-for-profit, charitable organisation that offers a medium for citizens to anonymously give information on murders, expand its mandate to include other crimes such as child abuse.

"It is important because how does the police find the location for a child who is not in a database like that of a person of interest? How do they trace the location? But Crime Stop can be used for people to provide information about the location," said Blaine.

Meanwhile, the Child Protection and Family Services Agency has issued an appeal seeking the public's assistance to locate the child in the viral video.

Anyone with information is being asked to call 888-776-8328 or Whatsapp 876-878-2882.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us @onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.