Categorized | National News

Ministry of Social Services Clarifies Child Abuse Statistics

The Ministry of Social Services and Community Development has responded to an article in a local newspaper that discussed the statistics of child abuse cases.

According to the ministry, the article quotes a number of statements reportedly expressed by youth activist Tavarrie Smith and reference made to a 22 per cent increase in child abuse cases.

The ministry advised that child abuse statistics are not static; they fluctuate depending on any number of things.

“Indeed, the number of child abuse cases reported to the Department of Social Services in 2011 and 2012 were 636 and 663 respectively, which are higher than the reported 597 cases in 2014. Sadly, the level of child abuse in our country remains unacceptable. The Department of Social Services of the Ministry of Social Services and Community Development has responsibility for investigating reported cases expeditiously,” according to a statement issued by the ministry.

The statement also explained that the ministry does not work alone and has many help from partners such as the Royal Bahamas Police Force, schools, hospitals and clinics.

The ministry appreciates the work of its partners in addressing child abuse especially The National Child Protection Council, the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Unit (SCAN) of the Ministry of Health, The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and The Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“Child abuse is wrong. It is harmful and no child should be subjected to abuse from anybody. We will continue our efforts to educate and inform persons about abuse. While action is taken by the department, the council and other agencies throughout the year to provide information on child abuse and its prevention, these efforts are coordinated and intensified in the month of April, which for the past several years, has been observed annually as Child Protection Month. The theme for this year was ‘Working together to stop Child Abuse.’ ”

The public is reminded that suspected cases of child abuse can be reported to the Department of Social Services by way of the national hotline and numbers listed in the local phonebook.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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