801 child abuse cases recorded in 2018

With 801 child abuse cases recorded last year and 392 in 2017, ChildLink, an activist group, has found in a study conducted last year that there has been a whopping increase in the number of children being abused.
Presenting the findings of the study on Tuesday evening at the University of Guyana’s Turkeyen Campus, ChildLink researcher Samantha Alleyne told the audience that she was very disturbed by her findings and believes that she may even require counselling.
“National statistics compiled by Child Care and Protection Agency confirmed that abuse of children, both physical and sexual, starts from as young as zero to three (years old). The data indicates that the sexual abuse of girl children remains high in the country. The number of reported cases is as follows; 801 in 2018, 392 in 2017 and 616 in 2016. Similarly, cases reported for boy children were 179 in 2018, 442 in 2017 and 118 in 2016,” Alleyne told the gathering.
According to her, it was also found that children between the ages of 14 to 18 and eight to 13 years were more vulnerable to these attacks.
She added that during her research, it was also found that some parents were reluctant to accept the abuse story their children had told them. In such a case, she said a parent even blamed her child for what happened, saying that the child wanted to separate her from her spouse.
In this regard, it was noted that all victims at one point after their abuse, blamed themselves for what happened.
While sharing a survivor story, the agency explained that some children are severely battered after being abused because many times some children are abused by numerous persons. In one instance, the researcher said that she came across a child who was abused by five different persons.
During the study, three types of children were used to collect data. “Children who experience sexual abuse, children who experience physical abuse and children who experience sexual abuse and their cases were persecuted,” Alleyne explained.
Interviews were held with the children who experienced sexual and physical abuse, while the parents of the children who were sexually abused were interviewed because they were younger and at risk of being traumatised again.
The interviews were conducted over a four-week period with 17 individuals inclusive of nine children and eight adults.
In December, the CCPA revealed that two children are abused every hour in Guyana.
According to CCPA, by the end of October 2018, the Agency had already responded to 4352 child abuse reports, which happens to be the highest number of reported cases ever for the period.
In fact, a 25.4 per cent increase was recorded when compared with figures for the same period last year.