Nearly 1,000 children sexually abused in Dominica

Jemma Azille-Lewis, Coordinator, Child Protection Unit, Dominica

ROSEAU, Dominica, Aug 22 2017 – The Child Abuse Prevention Unit said Monday that more than 1,000 cases of child abuse, including 900 sexually related matters, had been reported here over a six year period.

Addressing the opening of a one-day workshop on child protection and domestic violence, the Unit Coordinator Jemma Azille-Lewis said that more than 1,200 children were abused between 2010 and 2016.

“So, in that time frame, over a thousand children have been violated, and out of that you have about nine hundred being sexual, we have to realize that we have an issue. And it is something that we have to tackle,” she said.

The workshop is being held in collaboration with the Bureau of Gender Affairs and Caribbean Male Action Network (CariMAN).

“When you look at what is happening in Dominica, we do have an issue,” she told the workshop that was geared mainly at barbers, whom the authorities hope will use their influence to start a discussion on child abuse among their customers.

“If you can have discussions like these, why not make it a discussion on protecting our children. But for you to be able to have the discussion on protecting our children, we have to be informed. You have to know what to say, you have to know the signs, you have to know what to look for.

“We are going to give you the signs. And besides the signs we are also going to let you know what the law entails. What would be the feedback, the consequences for a domestic abuser? You have to know what are the consequences, in terms of imprisonment what can they face,” she added.

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