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Stabroek News

Rapists target girls' home - Predators lure wards off compound
published: Sunday | March 4, 2007

Tyrone Reid, Enterprise Reporter

Teenage girls in state care at the Windsor Child Care Facility in St. Ann are being raped by men who lure them from the institution and commit the heinous crimes.

At least one 16-year-old girl has been impregnated by men who allegedly cut the chain-link fence to gain access to the premises.

The all-girls' facility is apparently being targeted as a feeding ground for sexual predators from nearby communities.

Norma Hill, regional director for the Child Development Agency's north-east region, revealed that since January last year, they have recorded three cases of rape at the home which houses girls ages 12 to 17.

She said that one arrest has been made, while the suspects in the other two cases have reportedly fled the area.

Mrs. Hill was unable to provide statistics on the incidence of rape that might have happened more than three years ago.

However, she did point out that within the last three years, one 16-year-old girl has been impregnated. Mary Clarke, Children's Advocate, told The Sunday Gleaner that her administration is aware of the Predators lure wards off compoundsituation. Mrs. Clarke said she and two other staff members visited the facility in December last year. After the visit, she said, a report was done and sent to the Child Development Agency (CDA) and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health.

"We got a response from the Ministry of Health and from that response we can conclude that the matter is to be dealt with," she said.

She pledged that she would follow up on the issue to see what has been done, but explained that in addition to noticing that sections of the building were old, the team observed that the instutution had a problem with trespassing.

Off the property

However, Mrs. Hill insists that the atrocious sexual acts committed against the girls did not happen on the property. She said they happened when the girls absconded. Mrs. Hill said over the last three years, 55 children have absconded.

When The Sunday Gleaner visited the community on Wednesday, men were seen loitering beside an empty wooden shed, which is just a stone's throw away from the entrance to the property.

As this reporter approached the entrance to the facility in an unmarked news car, a young man was seen on the fence. Apparently unsure about the identity of the person approaching, he calmly backed away. However, he was later seen again on the fence conversing with a few of the girls, who enquired if the Enterprise reporter was a police officer. Still unsure of this reporter's status, the young man jumped off the fence again and went awy.

The sloping terrain and the relatively low height of the perimeter fencing makes climbing over it an easy task. A few gaping openings were seen in the perimeter fence. However, it was obvious that steps had been taken to seal several others.

Promiscuous behaviour

A source close to the institution told The Sunday Gleaner that one of the main problems is that "management is not firm enough with the girls.

"The official, who spoke under conditions of anonymity, revealed that the girls leave the compound late at night and do not return until early the next morning. At 7:00 a.m., girls are just coming inand that happens quite regularly," the source said.

The official also pointed out that rapes occur quite often. However, The Sunday Gleaner source said that most of the girls, who are also abusive to staff members, are quite promiscuous. "From they go out, that (sex) is their motive. They are highly promiscuous; it is like they can't control their urges."

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