Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 7th 2015 Contents A16
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 7, 2015
Children are not
a priority in T&T
• From Page A15
A lot of boys are sexually abused
but seldom report it to the police or
speak out because of shame and
Boys are sexually abused by a coach,
stepfather, friend or respected male
figure, Wilson said.
"You know when a boy is interfered
with. They become angry, aggressive
or would not talk."
Once a boy is identified as a victim,
Wilson said counselling is provided.
She said for months she locked
horns with a Port-of-Spain vendor
who preyed on young homeless boys.
"He used to sleep with the boys in
a vacant lot near Globe Cinema at
nights. This happened many moons
ago. As a matter of fact, he and I were
in a war all the time. Whenever I saw
the boys roaming the streets I used to
pick them up and take them to my
home. This got him angry."
Sometimes, the boys ran back to
the vendor. "He kept fooling them
with trinkets, snacks and toys which
he sold." After years, Wilson said, "he
Wilson appealed to the Government
to establish an emergency or crisis
shelter in Port-of-Spain, where boys
who have nowhere to live or go can
walk in and feel safe.
"I think children are not a
priority...they are always placed on
the back burner because they do not
While the Children s Authority Act
has been passed, Wilson said there
are a lot of laws, but no enforcement.
She said monitoring homes for children
will be the authority s biggest task.
At the end of July, all homes must
register with the authority.
Wilson: They are placed on the back
burner because they do not vote
TO THE FINISH
Sexual offences and serious crimes
committed against children are on the
rise in T&T.
Last year, 976 children were victims
of serious crimes.
Of this figure, 705 were reported to
be sexual offences victims---the
majority of whom were young
The figures were provided to the
Children's Authority of T&T by the
Crime and Problem Analysis Branch
The authority also revealed that
serious crimes committed by children
have also been gradually increasing in
the last three years.
Public education and
communications manager of the
authority Cheryl Moses said while
measures are being put in place by
the authority to reduce this alarming
figure, they are faced with challenges
to deal with sexual abuse committed
Two of the biggest challenges,
Moses said, were changing cultural
norms and attitudes towards children
and under reporting of sexual crimes.
"Also, failure to comply with the
mandatory reporting provisions of the
Sexual Offences Act because of fear,"
Moses stated in response to
questions emailed to her.
"Inadequate supervision of children
may give perpetrators more access
and opportunity. Parents who do not
have adequate support systems may
continue to expose their children to
the risk of being abused," she wrote.
Moses said treatment was being
offered to the victims to overcome
"For children who have been victims
of sexual abuse, the interventions
may vary depending on the severity
of the ordeal, age of the child and the
nature of the trauma," Moses sated.
In the area of sexual offences
committed against children, Moses
stated that there was an increase of
279 reports or a 66 per cent hike,
while serious crimes committed
against children skyrocketed by 27.6
per cent in 2014, over the previous
Moses revealed that 976 serious
crimes committed against children
were recorded by Capa last year,
compared to the 765 cases in 2013.
Giving a breakdown of the 2014
statistics, Moses said the police
recorded 705 sexual offences, 17
murders, 33 woundings, 11
kidnappings, 154 robberies and 44
general larceny committed against
Moses said of the 705 sexual
offences committed against children,
96.9 per cent were females, while 3.1
per cent boys.
Serious crimes committed by
children on the increase
Data also showed that 253
children---243 boys and ten girls had
committed serious crimes in 2014,
when compared to 241 recorded in
Some measures instituted by the
authority to reduce crimes
committed against children
• Public education and sensitisation
• Empowerment of children to
report crime committed against them
using the 996 number
• Sensitisation on the new package
of children's legislation with the new
offences, penalties and duties of
parents and other people in 'positions
of trust' will continue.
• Continued collaboration with the
dedicated Child Protection Unit of the
police service to respond more
effectively and sensitively.
66 PER CENT INCREASE IN SEXUAL
OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN IN 2014
Girls, ages six to nine, take part in a race during the Oropouche East constituency Sports and Family
Day hosted by their MP, Dr Roodal Moonilal, in Debe, on Thursday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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