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Story Highlights

  • Minister Hanna has called for responsible members of the society to reach out to children with care and protection.
  • Miss Hanna encouraged persons to treat all children as their own, noting that they are hurting from abuse at home.
  • The Minister said those who break the law must be held accountable for their behaviour.

An appeal has been made by Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, for responsible members of the society to reach out to children with care and protection.

“The society must view itself as a key part of the healing of our children in State care,” the Minister said, while giving an update on the latest reports on child abuse, at a press briefing, held at the Ministry, in Kingston, on Tuesday, April 8.

Miss Hanna encouraged persons to treat all children as their own, noting that they are hurting from abuse at home and “helping them to overcome the hurt is not a quick fix, and as psychologists will tell you, recovery from abuse takes years.”

The Minister said those who break the law must be held accountable for their behaviour, but “we continue to urge the society to show these children empathy, understanding, and love to promote their healing and restoration; and to refrain from exploiting their pain.”

The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR), in a preliminary report, pointed to 3,100 cases of child abuse for the first three months of the year, while for the same period last year, the total number was 2,800.

Miss Hanna said in many of the cases, physical and other abuses were meted out to the children, as well as parental neglect.

The Minister said the abuses are “grave concerns, and matters we must collectively address as a matter of urgency, to effectively deal with the crisis facing our children.”

“Adopt a zero tolerance approach to the abuse of our children by reporting all forms of abuse,” Miss Hanna encouraged.

According to the Minister, persons can help in the restoration of abused children, by providing emotional support to those who have been rescued and placed in State care facilities, through mentorship programmes by churches, clubs and other organizations, as well as individuals.