― as Region 7 tops list for January-October period
The Cuyuni-Mazaruni district (Region Seven) has recorded the highest number of reported child abuse cases for the year so far. The Social Protection Ministry’s Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) made this disclosure at its 2016 Staff Conference on Wednesday morning.
CCPA representatives from the Monitoring and Evaluation Department, Latoya Beckles and Mark Baksh, disclosed that for the period January to October under review, the country saw 4259 cases of which 3209 were related directly to child abuse, whereas 965 recorded reports concerned other welfare matters, including child trafficking and child labour.
The preliminary statistics showed that 58.3 per cent of girls suffered abuse, while 41.7 per cent was recorded for boys. The age group four to seven was the most vulnerable group, with 27.3 cases per every 1000 children in the same category.
The Region Seven area, which is principally a mining district, also showed the highest rate of child abuse cases at 47.4 per every 1000 children, while Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) came in next with 17.4. Meanwhile, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) ranked third with 14.2 per 1000 children.
Region Seven also ranked highest in the categories of neglect, sexual abuse, physical and verbal abuse. Region 10 was ranked second for sexual abuse cases, while Region Four was placed second in the child neglect category. Parents were said to be the main perpetrators of child abuse across the Regions, with 76 per cent.
The numbers further revealed that of this 76 per cent total, mothers accounted for nearly half of the cases at 48 per cent, whereas fathers reflected 23 per cent of the cases. The three years and younger age group was identified as the most vulnerable category for boys in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni district.
The final statistics will be released next year when numbers for November and December are added, the CCPA noted.
In 2015, over 3000 reports of child abuse cases were recorded at the Agency. Head of the agency, Ann Green had told media operatives that neglect accounted for the highest number of reports and that reports of sexual abuse reports had surpassed 600.
Greene had further added that last year, the agency needed to find alternative care for over 500 children who were placed in foster care and institutional care.
“We try to make institutional care as the last resort, but most times, institutions are all we have to provide alternative care for a child; and it is not the best care but it’s life-saving for children sometimes,” Greene had expressed. (Guyana Times)