by Linda Straker
- 628 child abuse cases reported to Child Protection Authority in 2018
- Sexual abuse ranked number one
Records from the Child Protection Authority (CPA) have disclosed that more than 600 children faced varying forms of child abuse with the areas of sexual and abandonment or neglected been the most common.
“Every year, hundreds of our nation’s children come face to face with the haunting reality of child abuse and neglect. During 2018, 628 such cases were reported to the Child Protection Authority,” said Jannelle Grant-Hamlet, Public Relations Officer of the Authority.
Speaking at a news conference held to commence a month of activities aimed at educating people about child abuse and the negative implications the various forms of abuse can have on children, Grant-Hamlet said that the matter of child abuse is one that cannot be ignored. “As the agency responsible for promoting the protection of children, we continue to stand up and speak out against the maltreatment of children and we invite other sectors in society to join us as we carry out our mandate of working in the best interest and for the greatest good of the child,” she said.
“And because we cannot ignore it, we all have to work together to combat this problem,” said Grant-Hamlet while sharing the 2018 data from her agency. Sexual abuse ranked in the number one post with the data showing 203 cases, followed by abandonment or neglected with 102 cases.
The CPA shows that of the 628 cases, 64 involved children affected by custody issues; 107 cases involved children who were victims of physical abuse and 11 cases involved who children witnessed domestic abuse.
The data shows 13 cases in which children experienced emotional and verbal abuse; 25 cases in which children are affecting by parenting difficulties; 75 cases in which children displayed behavioural issues; 18 cases in which children were affected by family dysfunction and 10 cases in which children were affected by financial difficulties.
The PRO said that these are just figures from her organisation’s desk but there is evidence to show that there are cases that never reach CPA’s offices.
The 2019 theme for observing April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness month is “Time for action: stomp out child abuse.” The month of activities is an initiative of the Grenada Coalition on the Rights of the Child, an umbrella body established as a result of Grenada ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The month normally opens with an address by Head of State, Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade, with members or the umbrella body holding various activities throughout the month.