Categorized | National News

Griffin: Child Molestation Cases Alarming

Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin is calling on the country to pull together to fight the number of child abuse cases which she said is ‘alarming’.

Police statistics indicate that over a 13-year period, 2, 746 children under the age of 16-years have been molested.

“It’s an appalling situation and an appalling figure over a thirteen year period but the Ministry of Social Services through its child protection department and even me as a minster over the years have been trying to raise public awareness as to the abuse of our children,” Minister Griffin said.

“For several years now, we’ve been experiencing reported figures of child abuse which is inclusive of sexual abuse anywhere between 550 to 600 per year and when you look at the fact that those are just the reported figures the formula is to really multiply it by three, it’s an unbelievable and an incredible amount of children being abused every year.”

Minister Griffin added that these child abuse cases are inclusive of boys and girls.

Crisis Centre Director Dr. Sandra Dean Patterson revealed such statistics during a press conference last week to announce the centre’s ‘Let’s Talk Campaign’ to create an awareness regarding abuse and sexual violence among young people.

According to Dr. Dean-Patterson, police reports also indicated that 1,461 adult rape cases were reported to police from 2000 -2013.

She added that 45 per cent of sexually active girls admitted they were forced into having sex and that teenage girls are the fastest gowning group in the population to develop Human Immune Virus (HIV).

On Tuesday past Minister of National Security Bernard Nottage announced that all crimes are trending downward including attempted rape and unnatural sex, however that downward trend did not include rape.

In effort to fight child abuse social services developed the National Child Protection Council, Child Protection and Welfare Unit and partnered with other organisations like the Crisis Centre to reach more individuals and create awareness.

Ms. Griffin added that her ministry also partners with the Attorney General’s office and police to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted.

She admitted that while the Ministry of Social Services is doing its part, it will not be able to fight child abuse alone.

“We must all understand that this is a problem that is all of our business, not just the government, it’s not just the church, it’s not just the home, everyone must do their part because it’s really an alarming figure and it’s really outrageous what is happening to our children out there.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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