Chairman of the National Committee For Monitoring The Rights Of The Child, Faith Marshall-Harris, is “encouraged” by the statistics on child abuse presented by the Barbados Child Care Board this week, inasmuch as people have indeed been reporting the maltreatment and defilement.
Mrs Marshall-Harris sees this as a “hopeful sign” in light of last year’s established Mandatory Reporting Of Child Protocol that reinforces all cases of child abuse must be exposed and reported to the appropriate authorities with haste. Surely, there is some “hope”, but we cannot help but be flummoxed and enraged by the frequency of sexual abuse of our minors.
Of the 823 referrals of abuse to the Barbados Child Care Board last year, 188 were for sexual impropriety by some marauding adult, second only to general neglect of 370 cases. Other reports were 185 for physical abuse, 78 for emotional abuse, and two for abandonment.
As for the sexual abuse, Child Care Board director Joan Crawford points out that this perversion has been a “major concern” in the 12-to-16-year-old group
So while we may seek some solace in the reporting of such nefarious conduct, we must grieve at the continued perpetration of these criminal and immoral acts against our vulnerable young. And Mrs Marshall-Harris has our full support in her position that frontline people like teachers, doctors, nurses have an obligation to report these offences to decency and humanity.
And, we add that the perpetrators should be spared no public disgrace nor incarceration. That such an affliction on our minors can be perceived of in the first place and pursued –– sometimes with impunity –– is unspeakable and insupportable for those of us with any moral comportment.
And we would like to think the rascally paedophiles among us, quite settled in the bogs of immorality, might not misconstrue the message of this year’s Child Month celebration, starting tomorrow: Let’s Embrace And Appreciate Our Children.
At the Child Care Board Press conference yesterday launching this annual event, Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett lamented the challenges “many children” were facing, owing to –– among other things –– “reduced societal cohesion” and family breakdown. It would be no exaggeration asserting that the former negativity has been contributed significantly to by the adversarial and divisive politics we continue to practise, and the latter by the trendy and “forward-thinking” promotion of all that undermines family values as we once knew them to be.
How indeed, this Child Month 2015, will the Child Care Board, as Mr Blackett put it, “place some focus on the role of the family as a stabilizing force”, when the influential among the powers that be are themselves a challenge to the normal make-up, structure and practice of the natural and normal family unit?
How does the “stabilizing force” of a family make “the world a safer and better place for our children” with the undisguised evil of dirty linen nowadays being constantly thrown out of the closet in public –– in the name of sexual orientation rights and privileges?
There would be no rules now! It is no longer uncommon across the Caribbean for teenage girls to be lured into the bedrooms of the affluent –– and the scrounging even –– for sex play. Often this is after the child has been befriended and has benefited from lunch money and other niceties –– or stolen materials.
An end must be put to these depraved paedophiliac deeds. One abused little girl –– or boy –– is surely one too many. We must beware this ultra-liberalism of thought being popularized among us –– the mass adoption of North American and European carnal decadence that passes as sexual freedom and individual rights to optional sexual orientation.
Food for thought, we insist, at the youth and childhood training seminars and parenting workshops the Child Care Board plans on holding in the coming weeks. Our children’s safety, lives and future will depend on it.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
“In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
–– Matthew 2:17 and 18.