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Low reporting of child abuse in Jamaica - study

Published:Sunday | April 13, 2014 | 10:25 AM

A survey commissioned by the Office of the Children's Registry (OCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that only 11 per cent of adults in Jamaica have reported a suspected case of child abuse.



According to the survey, that number increased to 30 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively for children and professionals who have reported suspected cases of child abuse.



The OCR and UNICEF say the survey found that the low incidents of reporting by adults and children comes despite the fact that most of them admitted experiencing the abuse or know of a child who has been abused in the last three months.



It found that those who failed to report suspected abuse indicated that they were concerned about the confidentiality of their report, fear victimisation or lacked confidence in the child care and protection system to effectively address the issue.



It also found that emotional abuse was the most commonly witnessed or experienced form of abuse, followed by physical abuse and neglect.



The OCR and UNICEF say the baseline survey was commissioned to learn more about child abuse awareness and reporting patterns in Jamaica.



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