Deputy Registrar at the National Children’s Registry (NCR) of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), Warren Thompson, is encouraging self-reporting by children who are victims of abuse.
“We want to encourage children to self-report. If they feel that they are at risk, that they are victims of abuse or that they are in need of care and protection, we want them to reach out to us,” he said in an interview with JIS News.
Mr. Thompson noted that while the agency is not seeing an increase in cases of abuse, it recognises that there might be incidents that are not being reported to the authorities.
“We don’t take it for granted that it means there is a reduction in child abuse, because we know that for many children who are victims of abuse, the perpetrators are family members, close relatives or members of the extended family,” he pointed out.
“So we are encouraging children, if they feel that they are in need of some kind of support, if they need protection, if they need care, they can reach out directly to us,” he urged.
Noting that schools play a critical role in reporting suspected cases of abuse, Mr. Thompson is appealing to teachers to continue to be vigilant in the online classroom environment.
“We are encouraging teachers, as well, to pay close attention to the children who are in your Google or Zoom classrooms. Pay attention to them, and if you observe anything suspicious, if you observe any drastic change in behaviour that is a cause for concern, do not be afraid to send a message to us so that we can start a conversation and initiate that investigation,” he advised.
Mr. Thompson further called on teachers to instruct children about the methods of reporting abuse to the CPFSA.
To self-report, children can call the CPFSA at #888PROTECT (776-8328) or 876-618-5888, WhatsApp 876-878-2882, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a direct message on the CPFSA social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) @cpfsajm.