THE EDITOR: Sir
"Child abuse, incest prevalent in Western Jamaica" screamed the front page headline of The Gleaner published January 21, 1987. Nineteen years later a front page headline appeared in The Gleaner 23/06/06 which read: "Child sex abuse rife."
Although the article under the first headline dealt with cases of incest and sexual abuse of children, particularly in the western part of Jamaica, these abuses occur throughout the island at a noticeable rate. The recent headline reflected a situation of crisis in Jamaica in terms of the abuse of children generally.
Sadly, there is precious little that can be done to change the sexual craving of mindless fathers and stepfathers, for example, who act out their urges and have carnal sexual knowledge of their own children. What can be done to suppress the sexual feelings of paedophiles who become most sexually excited when they relate sexually to children? Paedophiles are sexually dangerous persons.
A proposal was made recently which advocated a mandatory 25-year sentence of imprisonment for those found guilty of such sexual offences. But even such a stiff penalty will not totally prevent occurrence of the crime of sexually violating our nation's children.
However, let's hope that the severity of the proposed measure, if put in place will cause sexual abusers of minors to think twice or many more times before they commit their despicable acts of sexual savagery on innocent children.
I am, etc
SYLVESTER AYRE, JP