Categorized | National News

Nearly 700 Child Abuse Cases Reported in 2012

Over the past seven years nearly 5,000 cases of various forms of child abuse have been reported, according to documents tabled in the House of Assembly by Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin on Wednesday.

According to the Reported Child Maltreatment Cases report, seven types of abuse are reported to have been inflicted on children in the country between 2006 and 2012, totaling 4,360 cases.

In 2012, 663 cases of child abuse were reported, the highest the country has seen in seven years.

Neglect accounted for the most reported cases with 294 cases, just one more than the 293 reported in 2006.

The numbers of reported neglect cases seemed to swell over the years climaxing to 337 in 2008.

One hundred – seventy-nine sexual abuse cases were reported last year when compared to the 119 reported in 2006 and there were 151 cases of physical abuse in 2012 and 164 six years earlier.

According to the seven year study, 10 incest cases against Bahamian children were reported last year while 2009 saw the greatest numbers with 21 reported.

In 2006, there were 164 cases of physical abuse reported, according to the report, but that figure dropped to 151 last year.

Other forms of abuse reported were verbal abuse with 15 reported in 2006 and eight reported in 2012; emotional abuse, where none were recorded in 2006 but nine were recorded in 2012; there were eight abandonment cases in 2006 and 12 reported last year.

The report also noted that over the seven-year period 75 children experienced abuse in terms of child welfare matters involving referrals for assistance relevant to court investigations, children in detention centres and children relevant to child placement matters.

The figures were tabled as parliamentarians debated an amendment to Child Protection Bill 2013 known as Marco’s Law and an amendment to the Sexual Offences Bill 2013 to introduce a sexual offenders’ registry.

The Marco Alert system, which stands for Mandatory Action Rescuing Children Operation, will be similar to the Amber Alert system used in the United States.

The sexual offenders’ registry will seek to protect all victims of sexual offences.

Ianthia Smith

Written by Ianthia Smith

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