Sharing is caring! Tweet Share Share Share 147 Views no discussions LocalNews PM calls on society to report child abuse cases by: Dominica Vibes News – May 1, 2015 Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has appealed to members of the public to take responsibility for preventing child abuse, including sexual abuse, by reporting these incidents to the investigative authorities.There has been widespread debate on child sexual abuse in recent times, following a report from the Child Abuse Prevention Unit indicating significant increase in the number of reported cases, compounded by a recent high court ruling in which a man who pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with two female minors was sentenced to eight years imprisonment.Prime Minister Skerrit told members of the press on Wednesday 29 April 2015, child abuse is “a societal problem” and frequently, people in the community, fail to report these incidents to the police, while in other cases, there is collusion between the parents of the victim and the perpetrator.“It is something that we are taking very seriously…It’s terrible and parents should not hide this thing, they must not keep it a secret”.“Too many parents want to save a guy who they’re calling a boyfriend who’s a vagabond, knowing that this man has affected the child, because [in] a lot of these cases, the person is known to the family,” Mr Skerrit stated. He added that often times, the reports are investigated by the police, referred to the director of public prosecutions, only to be stalled due to lack of cooperation from some of the main witnesses.“Sometimes you go to court with the matter and you have to adjourn because your main witness is not present, or in some cases the child refuses to talk because she has been told so, or he has been told so,” Mr Skerrit said. However, the Prime Minister indicated that there is need for a revision of the legislation so that “once the matter is reported, then it is taken out of the hands of those who have reported it”.While some members of the public have called for more stringent laws regarding sentencing for child sexual abuse offenders, the Prime Minister said the current legislation is adequate.“The law as it is now, if you read the law, it is a strong piece of legislation. In my respectful view, in some cases, it has even gone beyond reasonableness in its content, but that notwithstanding, you still have those cases and an increasing number of them,” Mr Skerrit said.Moreover, the Prime Minister said he has heard the calls for harsher legislation, but “it’s not going to solve problems”.“Because if legislation could solve problems, look at Indonesia where you are put before a firing squad for drug trafficking, but people traffic drugs every day. So yes, you need a good legislative framework, but society has to be more responsible and speak out,” Mr Skerrit stated.
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