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'Children abused because we allow it' - Child Month committee chair urges nation to do more to protect young

Published:Sunday | April 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
In this 2011 file photo, a woman signs her name to a declaration to love and protect the nation’s children during a rally held in downtown Kingston. The event was organised by the New Nation Coalition under the theme ‘Justice for Children’.

Convinced that too many of Jamaica's children are not properly educated about abuse, the National Child Month Committee has selected this topic as the focus for Child Month 2017, which began yesterday.

The 2017 theme is 'Take Action, Break the Chain of Abuse'.

The month's activities will include a thanksgiving service on Sunday, May 7, as well as numerous child abuse-awareness activities.

In June, the committee will host an academic achievement awards ceremony.

"The focus is on helping the nation realise the plight of our children when it comes to abuse. We want everybody to come together to break this chain. Our children are only abused because we allow them to be abused," chairman of the committee, Dr Pauline Mullings, told The Gleaner on Sunday.

"The focus is to help Jamaica recognise that we need to stop the abuse of our children. We want it to stop!" she said.

Mullings continued: "We want neighbours to become mindful of every child in the community. We need to report. We need to get back to that culture where reporting is not seen as informing. Uncle Tom will give them a candy, box juice, Pepsi and all the things they want, and they don't sense that that is coming on because Uncle Tom is going to abuse them in another week or so. We want them to be aware of bad touches. The chain of abuse cannot be broken if our children are not educated to recognise what it looks like."