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Never-ending trauma for mutilated child, family

Published:Monday | February 8, 2021 | 12:03 PMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer
File The family of a mutilated boy is appealing for emotional and other support. (This graphic is an illustration.)

The violence a teenager meted out on a young child made headlines last year and the now 17-year-old has been sentenced. Many times after the initial shock and disgust the public feels when we read of these horrors wears off, we forget the victims continue to suffer long after we have moved on. The Gleaner leaves a poignant reminder of the long-lasting impact violent trauma can have.

 

Boy whose penis was cut off a victim of taunts, stigma

 

The family of a then six-year-old boy who was chopped multiple times and whose penis was dismembered by a teen in August 2019 is appealing for emotional help and protection from the taunts of residents that are pushing the victim over the edge.

The relatives have also criticised the sentence of the convict as too short and have charged that they have been robbed of true justice.

The then 16-year-old, who was arrested and charged for assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, was on Wednesday sentenced to three years and seven months in prison after pleading guilty in court.

The offender, now 17 years old, is to stay at a juvenile correctional centre until he reaches 18 when he will be sent to an adult correctional facility.

Describing the length of the sentence as “pickney lunchtime”, the mother of the victim expressed her disappointment with the verdict. His father, too, shared his displeasure.

“I’m upset. I don’t like how the trial end up because they are saying he’s underage, but my youth is even more underage than him,” said the father.

“He had enough sense to know that he shouldn’t do what he did. The judge should have given him a rougher penalty.”

The parents’ names are not being published by The Gleaner to preserve the child’s identity. The offender’s name is also withheld because he is a minor.

FUNDS DEPLETED

The victim is scheduled to be hospitalised in May and will undergo another major surgery in a few years, the father said, lamenting that medical expenses have depleted his savings.

He pleaded that he needs to “make some money to help my little boy because he cannot live without a penis”.

The saddened father also shared his desire to relocate his family to escape the stigma and shame the incident has caused. Children and adults have turned the family’s life into a nightmare, he told The Gleaner.

“In the area where we live, people are using it to curse him. I would like to move to where these people can’t see him,” the father said.

“It’s really hard on me right now.”

BEHAVIOURAL ISSUES

The father disclosed that his son has been psychologically scarred by the genital mutilation, triggering behavioural issues that the family did not contend with previously.

“When you talk, he doesn’t care about what you are saying because he’s saying that he’s dead already ... him nuh business.

“... We don’t want the system to create giants, but sometimes the system turns people into monsters because if I don’t get help, it’s going to get worse.”

The boy’s aunt expressed her fears that he is on the verge of plunging over a precipice. She said that he sometimes tells her of his dreams of having 10 children and hopes that his penis will grow back.

She, too, is fearful that he is an emotional powder keg waiting to explode.

“Him get so rude and tell me that anytime him grow up, him a go kill me ... All because people hurt him,” the aunt said.

“And when him do rudeness, we try to correct him, but because he’s traumatised, he doesn’t realise that we are trying to help him. Him get dangerous,” she added.