By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Director of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA), Ann Greene is of the view that the issue of child sexual abuse is being taken far too lightly in Guyana by the authorities and citizens.
The CCPA Director made the comment during an anti- child sexual abuse march and rally organized by the agency and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security at the National Park, Georgetown, which was held under the theme: “breaking the silence on child sexual abuse and zero tolerance to violence against women.”
“The abuse of our children must end now… enough is enough… we need to rid our communities of robbers of childhood” Greene told those gathered. She explained that it is a serious pervasive problem with devastating effects.
According to statistics provided by Greene, some 324 cases of sexual abuse against children have been reported for the first half of 2013, of which 42 are boys. She made the case that these statistics does not represent the true picture of what occurs since such cases are grossly under-reported.
She said the current judicial system for dealing with perpetrators is ineffective and must be remedied soon.
“Children don’t lie about being abused… when a child tells you she/he has been abused believe,” she told participants. Greene is of the view that there is far too much doubt when children report these cases to parents and guardians, and too much support is being given to the perpetrator rather than the victim, who is tormented by shame and guilt.
She implored all to treat reports and cases of child abuse very seriously. Among those participating in the event were representatives from similar organizations in Trinidad and Tobago, the United States and Suriname, the Guyana Police Force, the Ministry of Education and Human Services and Social Security among others.
They marched from the Umana-Yana, Kingston, along Carifesta Avenue into Vlissingen Road before ending at the National Parking, chanting “just don’t delay, stop child abuse today.”