The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), says sexual violence against children in the Caribbean is greatly underreported and oftentimes culturally sanctioned.
In a report issued at the UN today, UNICEF said child sexual abuse in the region is shrouded in secrecy and aided by shame.
The report points to a study conducted in Jamaica which indicates that men often believe that they have a right to engage in sex with girls under their care.
The UNICEF report says a similar study in Guyana found that children there believe that sexual violence can be blamed on the victim’s clothing.
One of the main offences that goes under reported, the report says, is sexual violence against young boys, which it notes is not recognised as a crime in some countries.