Development Minister Delma Thomas said the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, which is being headed by retired primary school principal, Ersula Antoine, will be broad-based comprising of different stakeholders.
One committee member and rights activist, Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph described the issue of child sexual abuse as a national socio-economic problem that requires a national conversation so that the most workable solutions can be identified to reduce and rid the problem.
“This subject area deserves a national discussion or conversation, it is difficult a subject but we need to find out what is causing the problem and what are the reasons for its growing prevalence,” she said while sharing data on the number of reported cases the police have for the first six months of 2017.
“From January to June of this year the record shows that a total 154 cases of child sexual abuse reported… Every time our criminal court sits almost 50 per cent of the cases are for child sexual offenses,” she added.
Trotman-Joseph, an attorney who once served as the chairman of the Grenada National Coalition on the Rights, said that child sexual abuse has become part of “our culture because some children are more vulnerable and marginalise that other.
“A lot of us will be criminalize if we accept our truths because while some are perpetrators of the crime others are enablers of the crime,” she said, noting that the data showed adults prey on vulnerable children especially when they are disabled.
She said that child sexual abuse has long term negative effects when these victims become adults and its time that society need to stand up and take a stand for what is right.
Trotman Joseph said these long-term effects includes depression, promiscuity and low self-esteem and confidence.
In recent months, a number of children ages 11 to 12 have been sexually abused and the authorities are also investigating the attempted rape of a 75-year-old woman.
- Countries: Grenada