Sexual Grooming is a Crime
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is advising parents and guardians to be aware that sexual grooming is a reality and a crime. Sexual grooming occurs when an adult befriends a child by building a close relationship in order to gain the child’s trust, with the intention of later engaging the child in sexual activity.
According to the Children Act, 2012, the person who commits such an offence is liable “to a fine of fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for ten years or on conviction on indictment, to a fine of one hundred thousand dollars and to imprisonment for twenty years.
Parents and guardians are advised to get to know the adults with whom their child interacts whether it is in person or online. They should also pay attention to adults who give unwarranted gifts or want to spend time alone with a child. Children should also be taught not to give out personal information online.
If a parent or guardian suspects sexual grooming, they should take the evidence and any information about the alleged perpetrator to the Police and report the matter to the Authority’s hotlines at 996 or 800-2014.
The Authority reminds the public that child protection is everyone’s business, therefore, we all have a role to protect children from perpetrators of abuse and nurture children in an environment that encourages their development.