Child abuse is one of the most grue­some acts of vi­o­lence that could be per­pe­trated against our chil­dren. In 2011 alone, there were more than 5,000 re­ported cases of child abuse in Ja­maica. Those fig­ures were even more alarm­ing for 2012 sur­pass­ing the 8,00

Jamaica Gleaner - - HEALTH -

If you know, or even suspect that a child is be­ing abused, you have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect that child by putting a stop to the abuse. Here’s what you should do

Re­port the mat­ter to the Child Devel­op­ment Agency - 948-7206-2, Of­fice of the Chil­dren's Registry - 908-2132, Cen­tre for In­ves­ti­ga­tion of Sex­ual Of­fences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) 926-7318 in the Cor­po­rate Area or Po­lice 119. The po­lice will launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and, if nec­es­sary, the mat­ter will pro­ceed to court. Per­sons may also call the CISOCA of­fice in their par­ish. Re­mem­ber, when mak­ing a re­port you are not ob­li­gated to give your name.

If you wit­nessed the abuse first­hand, you might be asked to give your name. You can still opt not to do so.

If, how­ever, you are giv­ing a state­ment, you will be re­quired to sign the writ­ten state­ment in the pres­ence of the po­lice of­fi­cer tak­ing the state­ment. Note that a state­ment is given in per­son at the po­lice sta­tion and re­quires greater de­tail whereas a re­port can be made on the phone. While sex­ual abuse con­tin­ues to be the most com­mon form of child abuse in Ja­maica, the in­frac­tion can oc­cur in sev­eral ways:

Phys­i­cal Sex­ual Emo­tional Psy­cho­log­i­cal

While emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal abuse do not fig­ure promi­nently among the cases re­ported to CISOCA, Woman Sergeant L. Wright of CISOCA be­lieves the rea­son for this is that not many peo­ple know that this av­enue is avail­able to them. Ad­di­tion­ally, she says be­cause there are no phys­i­cal scars, some per­sons go away be­liev­ing that mat­ters of this na­ture will not amount to any­thing. She as­sures the pub­lic, how­ever, that CISOCA has in­ter­vened in these mat­ters in the past and will con­tinue their pur­suit of them. She also warned that of­fences against chil­dren are deemed se­ri­ous and that par­ents who cover up abuses against their chil­dren to pro­tect the per­pe­tra­tors can face con­vic­tion.


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