Over 2,000 children abused; Human Services Ministry plans to prosecute parents for neglect

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Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster. [iNews' Photo]
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Human Services plans to up its ante to punish those parents who neglect their children on a daily basis. For this year thus far, the Ministry received a total of 2,295 reports of child abuse.

Additionally, there were 1,473 cases of neglect reported and 574 cases of sexual abuse.

Human Services Minister, Jennifer Webster said that neglect remains the main cause of abuse and as such, her Ministry will increase its focus on charging and prosecuting those parents who neglect their children for extended periods of time.

“In 2014, we plan to up the ante because we have noticed a trend of parents neglecting their children, leaving their homes and leaving small minors unattended for extended periods of time and we plan to pursue the law as it relates to those parents because we feel that this should not be allowed to happen within our society,” Webster told a news conference on Monday, December 3o.

One Stop Shop for Abused Children

Meanwhile, the Ministry is gearing to establish a ‘One Stop Shop’ mechanism for abused children, which is aimed at improving the investigation of child abuse reports and to provide therapeutic services to victims.

The idea is to prevent children from recounting their experience to different parties involved. With the establishment of the ‘One Stop Shop’, abused children will only recount their traumatic experience once, in the presence of all parties involved and it will be recorded.

“What we’re planning really to do here is to have the child who is abused, the stakeholders, the police, the social worker at one place, work with the child, do the reports up and forward it to the relevant authorities so that the child does not need to go through the process over and over,” Minister Webster said.

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