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“Most assaults are committed by family members or close friends”
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“Most assaults are committed by family members or close friends”

Parents should develop trusting relationships with their children in order to prevent and detect child abuse, says Genitta Pascal, 19, a Commonwealth Correspondent from St Lucia.

It was reported in the media that police officers with responsibility for handling sexual assault cases from the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as the UK Overseas Territories and Dutch Caribbean, recently met in Bridgetown, Barbados for a two-day conference from 25 to 27 July.

This got me thinking. In the Caribbean, we find that most such assaults are committed by family members or close family friends.

Parents or guardians should be held more accountable when sexual child abuse comes into play. However sometimes when minors inform their parents of an incident where they have been assaulted by a family member or close family friend there is skepticism or inaction. The parents may be dependent on the sole provider of the family who might be the alleged perpetrator.

The question is: does a parent play a vital role in detecting and preventing sexual child abuse? Also, are officers with this responsibility not skilled enough to investigate issues of this nature? To help curb issue of sexual child abuse I believe that parents should develop trusting relationships between their children.

This police conference no doubt will have helped the officers develop a new mindset for dealing with these issues. It is worth bearing in mind, however that there should be programs put in place to educate society about the dangers of sexual abuse and how to deal with it if it happens.

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Genitta’s Profile:

“Born in Dominica, I was diagnosed in 1996 with leukemia and subsequently received a bone marrow transplant in Dominica and chemotherapy in Trinidad. I then took up residence in Saint Lucia in July 1999.

“In spite of my medical challenge, I have been academically successful and I’m now touring the world of work. My future ambition is to become a human resource manager. I also intend to assist underprivileged and idle persons.”

More here: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/list-of-contributorscorrespondents/

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/


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