Tue | Jun 15, 2021

Do more to protect our children

Published:Monday | May 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM
These boys were seen celebrating the dismissal of a wicket as they played cricket on Church Street in Fletcher's Land, Kingston, recently. - File

Steve Lyston, Contributor

With regards to the recent exposing of information in the media concerning the long-standing abuse of our children, I want to congratulate those media representatives for bringing to the fore a pertinent issue that needs to be addressed with great fervency.

However, we need further investigation and information from the media, particularly targeting the places of influence where such long-standing abuse is generated.

In order to protect our children, we need to look at every level of the society - our music and the marketing companies must be addressed, where every advertisement, every song that tops the charts has serious sexual connotations.

The music to which I refer is not only reggae music - it has its positives and negatives, but we need to look at every genre of music. What are they telling our children to do?

Another measure we need to put in place to protect our children is a National Identification Card for them. This card should be requested of each child if they attempt to purchase alcohol, cigarettes and even lottery ticket.

Furthermore, parents must stop sending children to purchase such items.

Many young girls within inner-city communities get pregnant at an early age - even under the age of 16 - and sometimes the parents are fearful of reporting it to the police because the babyfathers are either dons or some kind of gang member.

We are pushing for casino-style gambling to be at the forefront of the economic recovery programme, and these are places that media are going to be given free access.

But at what cost are we pushing for this to enter our country? What about the other activities that are taking place behind the scenes which are synonymous with casino-style gambling?

These activities that will ultimately engulf our children; what are we going to do about that?

When this high level of sexual child abuse is happening, we need to begin to look at the spiritual aspect of the problem. We need to ask the question a spiritual standpoint - 'Why is this happening?'

We need to recognise and understand that when rape, murder, incest and abuse are taking place on a large scale, it means that something has gone wrong in the nation spiritually, and a door was opened long before to cause this to take place within the nation.

Remember, King David and Bathsheba? When King David committed adultery with Bathseba that opened the door for rape, murder and incest to enter through his administration and family, because as a result of their actions, there was rape and incest (Amnon, his son, raped his sister - II Kings 11), conspiracy and murder (through his son Absalom).

Are we willing and ready to deal with the issue of common-law relationships? These days it is called having a life partner. There are a number of influential persons who are not setting good examples by this lifestyle they have chosen. What examples are we setting - spiritually and temporally - for our children?

Suggested solutions

Parents need to be more sensitive to their children. Talk to them and watch their movements. Watch when their grades are falling and don't just say, 'I was like that, too.' Carry out medical examinations annually.

Choose wisely concerning the church, doctors and schools you will send your children.

Instruct your children not to eat from just anyone. Tell them not to sit in anyone's lap, except yours. Tell them to come to you if anyone touches them in off-limit areas. Watch their behaviour around other family members.

Social networks and websites

Monitor the social networks and websites they enter and ensure you know those passwords. Monitor the internet-ready phones you gave them.

Keep them away from parks with nude sculptures and from shows and concerts with music that have heavy sexual connotations and explicit lyrics.

Schools need to carry out in-depth interviews on all teachers and coaches to the point of checking criminal records. It means that the police personel has to be well trained and properly equipped to handle such sensitive matters, be confidential and respectful to victims and the information they have concerning such issues have to be properly recorded, updated and accessible for persons who need to do criminal checks.

Once abuse takes place, then we must keep in mind that both victim and offender need help. The law is not and cannot be the only remedy applied.

Our children are valuable and we need to protect them to the uttermost.

Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.