Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, is urging all Jamaicans to be vigilant in the fight against child abuse.
Ms. Hannah was speaking on September 28 at the Secret Garden Children's Memorial, at the Corner of Tower Street and Church Street, following a march to show solidarity and outrage at the continued attacks against women and children.
The Minister used the opportunity to encourage persons to report child abuse, noting that failure to report results in complicity.
"It is not only the men who are sexually abusing women and children. We are seeing incidences of the mothers, because if a mother knows that her daughter is being abused, she is complicit to the abuse and will be arrested under the law. So, we are calling on the nation at this time to report abuses. We are going into communities and will not stop our efforts until child abuse and sexual abuse is stamped out of this country," she said.
She informed that children make up 33 per cent of the population, equalling just under 900,000.
Ms. Hanna said statistics provided by the Office of the Children's Registry (OCR) show that the “increases of sexual offenders are known to the children. They are the stepmothers, the step fathers, the boyfriends, the mothers, the fathers, and the granduncles."
The Minister urged all persons in families, communities and institutions to join the campaign to end the culture of child abuse in the country.
Others taking part in the march were: Mayor of Kingston, Her Worship Councillor Angella Brown Burke and other members of the Council; representatives of the Child Development Agency (CDA); and concerned citizens.
The march was spurred by the rape of five females in Irwin, St. James. It showed solidarity with a call for citizens to wear black and to gather in public places to express their outrage at the continued attacks against women and children in Jamaica.