Members of the Vincentian public are being urged to report all cases of child abuse they are aware of to the relevant local authorities.
This admonition comes from Jemma Alexander, Director of the Child Development Division in the Family Affairs Department of the Ministry of National, Mobilization, Social Development and Family.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday April 9, 2018 to launch activities for the 2018 National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month, Ms. Alexander said persons who are aware of situations where a child is being abused should make a report to the Child Development Unit or the police.
Ms. Alexander said that too often persons are afraid to report cases of child abuse on the part of a neighbour, out of fear of retaliation.
According to Ms. Alexander in 2017 there were more than 300 reported cases of child abuse here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
She noted that “Of these reported cases, 20% were sexual abuse, 37% were physical and emotional abuse and 43% were cases of neglect. From the data collected, girls were victimised more often than boys at 63% and over 53% of child abuse and neglect were in children younger than 12 years of age.”
The 2018 National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month of activities focuses on the theme “Every Child Safe, Every Community Awake!”