…55% increase of sexual violence towards female children between 2014 & 2018
A report conducted by ChildLink— a non-governmental organisation (NGO) — proved that there is a growing trend of male children being sexually abused on an annual basis.
According to the reports, statistics revealed that between 2014 and 2018, there have been three times the sexual violence cases against boys, while girls continue to be the dominant victims of such acts.
Additionally, from 2014 to 2018, the reports stated that there was a 55 per cent increase in sexual violence towards girls.
However, the most popular offences that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is faced with daily is the rape of children under 16-years-old, where there is penetration and also sexual activity where there is no penetration.
This is according to the DPP’s, Shalimar Ali-Hack, who recently noted that from data retrieved from the June Assizes of Demerara, there were 177 cases for sexual offences of a list of 301 cases to be heard. Of these 177 cases, 59 per cent involve children who are victims of sexual violence.
“The files are for female as well as male children. We have had files for a young child as young as nine months and we have had for an adult as old as in their 60s. We see seldom received files where the perpetrators are females,” the DPP stated.
She explained that as a result of emerging profiles from prosecutions in sexual offences cases in Guyana, the country is indeed responding to the “changing society”, concerning the numbers and types of sexual offences being committed, and that the new Sexual Offences Act of 2010 is a testimony to this.
“This Act is modern and it looks at new offences compared to the legislation which existed before… since this new legislation, there has been a large increase in a number of cases being reported to the Police, investigated by the Police and being prosecuted. This is very clear from the statistics of prosecutions in the High Court”.
The DPP further explained that the “emerging profile” is that the girl child is being sexually assaulted by both trusted and non-trusted persons in her life, both inside and outside of the home, including at institutions of learning.
“This is a very serious situation and it is very disturbing. It happens to all children regardless of race, culture, or the economic background from which they are. Based on the evidence in these cases, it can be concluded that there are economic and socio-cultural reasons for the increase in the number of offences committed, given the alarming number of offences being committed and given our small population”.
She emphasised that the causes of such vile, criminal conduct being perpetrated by adults on persons with the majority being children need to be addressed collectively and urgently.
“This deviant sexual behaviour affects the victims; this is not healthy for them. It affects them throughout their lives and consequently, if these persons form our society, it affects the society. It also indicates that the perpetrators are mentally affected, which is causing them to commit these sexual offences so we have these persons who are affected—who are complainants and who are offenders…”