Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 12th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt April 12 - 2017
DR N. CARRINGTON
We have heard these stories
all too often.
A nine-year-old and her elev-
en-year-old brother are left in
the care of a family friend whom
they call 'Uncle'. 'Uncle' separates
the two by giving the brother
chores outside. Uncle then takes
the nine-year-old to the bedroom
and asks her for permission to
touch her private place. The
moment is interrupted when her
brother goes inside to ask 'Uncle'
a question and for some reason,
her brother takes her outside
with him. She is inadvertently
saved. Her friends are not as
lucky as 'Uncle' has been per-
petrating this criminal act on
young girls in the neighbourhood
for quite some time.
In another instance, a twelve-
year-old boy is sitting watching
television when his older male
cousin starts rubbing his shoul-
ders and stroking his genitals.
His twelve-year-old brain cannot
comprehend what is happening
even when his cousin performs
fellatio on him and takes him
In each case, even when anoth-
er adult discovers the abuse of
responsibility, trust and power,
that adult rarely speaks to the
child about the event and hides
it from family, friends and neigh-
This silence preserves the
secret and allows incest - a taboo
subject- to remain the least talk-
ed about crime in our country.
The fact is that every child
deserves a normal childhood and
incestuous relationships are
denying them that opportunity.
Once the victims are left untreat-
ed they develop psychological
issues that destroy their lives. Is
it the lure of young flesh, the
freshness of youth, or just sim-
ply their vulnerability that
attracts these sexual predators
who may be relatives or family
Incest, rape or sexual abuse,
no matter what it is called, is a
criminal act perpetrated against
innocent children taking away
their childhood forever and scar-
ring them for life. C. Dinsmore
and T. Thomas are just two of
the authors who have dared to
write about the impact of incest
and the recovery process for vic-
In many cases, not even the
victims speak of the atrocity and
the actions remain concealed due
to feelings of shame, guilt or fear.
This concealment may also be
due to social and familial pressure
or even coercion resulting in
non-reporting of sexual attacks
to the police.
Sadly, in some instances, the
victim may come to view incest
as a normal part of their exis-
tence, particularly when the same
abuser commits the act against
Where the perpetrator is a
family member the horrific act
disrupts the child's primary sup-
port system---the family. Familial
incest becomes even more dis-
turbing when a non-abusing
family member or parent refus-
es to stop or report the sexual
attacks for various reasons.
Regardless, of the 'reason'
there is no justification for letting
a child experience living in hell
from persons whom the child
views as caregivers.
There is no difference if a fam-
ily friend commits the criminal
act. The harmful effects on the
child are still the same. Victims
live in mistrust and if untreated,
may exhibit harmful behavioural
issues in school and at home.
Oftentimes later on in life, they
have difficulty in forming and
maintaining intimate relation-
In addition, a vicious cycle can
result with the abused becoming
the abuser of their own children
or those of someone else's.
To nurture victims back to
health so they move past the
trauma requires a multidisci-
plinary professional approach.
Incest recovery is an unhurried
essential process and is some-
what different for males and
females but the need for famil-
ial and societal support is the
Let's speak out and protect
Dr N. Carrington is a successful
parent, educator and sociologist
Tourist, Mike Urwin, stands at the root of a silk cotton tree in Runnymede while his wife Ann takes the picture.
They found the tree fascinating especially after learning of its role as part of the island's rich oral tradition. The
tree forms the basis of legends.
PHOTO: LESLEY STEWART-EDWARDS
Links Archive April 11th 2017 April 13th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page