Children's Authority commends mother of abused child for taking swift action
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago strongly condemns the brutal attack on a mother and her 12-year old child who was molested by an alleged relative.
The Authority’s investigation team visited the child and mother last night and they are currently in a critical but stable condition at a hospital. The Authority has also ensured the safety of the other children in the family.
The necessary counselling and interventions will be provided to the family, given the traumatic experience.
The Authority also is in high praise of the child’s mother, who immediately took action and reported the abuse, once it was brought to her attention.
Parents and guardians are reminded that if children are actively engaged about their day and feel comfortable sharing their views, they are more likely to disclose any incidents or concerns they may have.
Close attention should also be paid to a child’s behaviour and attitude and if any sudden changes occur they should not be dismissed. Parents and guardians should seek clarity from the child, about the changes they have noticed.
All reports of abuse should be made to the Police at 999 and the Authority’s hotlines at 996 or 800-2014.
Children’s Authority reminds the public that child protection is everyone’s responsibility
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago assures the public that it is working with the Police in the conduct of the investigations into the brutal beating of a child. The matter was brought to the Authority’s attention when the child was admitted to Hospital.
The Authority is horrified and strongly condemns the actions of those responsible for the brutal abuse of the child. The organisation is once again reminding the public that preventing child abuse is everyone’s responsibility. In fact, if you see, hear or are suspicious about the treatment of a child in your family or neighbourhood you should immediately make a report to the Police or the Children’s Authority.
The Authority is calling on anyone with information about this incident to make a report to the Police at 999 or to the Children’s Authority Hotline at 996 or 800-2014.
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.
Court rules in favour of the Children’s Authority
The claim filed by former Attorney General Anand Ramlogan S.C. against the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, alleging that a child is being accommodated in circumstances that amount to solitary confinement, cruel and unusual punishment, and in breach of the child’s constitutional rights, was dismissed yesterday (July 26th, 2017) by Justice Vasheist Kokaram in the Civil High Court.
The Court determined it is satisfied that the welfare of the child has been met, since the child has been in the Authority’s care.
The Authority assures the public that it will continue to work in the best interest of children.
Parents Be Alert!
Parents and caregivers are advised that it is dangerous to leave children unattended in places and with people whom they may consider harmless.
The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is issuing the advice, as children begin their long vacation period.
The Authority notes that perpetrators of abuse tend to frequent places where they can have easy access to children. As such, the Authority is urging parents and caregivers to pay close attention to the adults their children interact with and to keep an open line of communication with children, so that they feel comfortable informing them of any inappropriate incidents.
Parents and guardians are also asked to allow their children to enjoy the holidays and not be placed with the burden of caring for their siblings. The Authority notes that too often unfortunate incidents take place when children are left to care for each other. The Authority advises that according to Section 4 of the Children Act, 2012, a person can also be charged with neglect for exposing a child “in a manner likely to cause that child suffering or injury to his physical, mental or emotional health”.
Meanwhile, the Authority commends members of the public who have highlighted cases of child abuse. It continues to urge citizens to report all incidents or suspicions of abuse to the Police at 999 or to the Authority’s hotline at 996 or 800-2014.