Over 100 cases of child abuse reported this year

| 21/11/2016 | 33 Comments

(CNS): More than 100 cases of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children have been reported so far this year in Cayman as well as more than 50 reports of child neglect, but government officials believe the actual number of incidences could be ten times that. The Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports, which is currently shaping a reporting policy, met last week with representatives from local sports associations about the plans. Officials outlined concerns about the prevalence of abuse and explained the responsibility that people working with children now have to report suspected abuse.

Felicia Robinson from the department gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Child Abuse Reporting Policy, as well as the potential for abuse of young people in sports and the duty sports officials have for children in their care.

The Cayman authorities are currently in the process of attempting to extradite one athletics coach from the United States following allegations that when he was working in Cayman he indecently assault a girl training with him. And in 2014 a local man was jailed for four years after he admitted having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl playing on one of the teams at the club where he was a football coach.

While sexual abuse is nothing new to the jurisdiction, changes to the legislation and more conversations about the problem have led to more cases being reported and ultimately more convictions. But officials believe that only one in ten cases of abuse are ever reported.

The community affairs ministry is in the process of finalising a policy to help meet the requirements of Section 32a of the Children Law (2012 Revision), which mandates that certain people, including sports coaches, report suspected abuse of children to the authorities.

Presenting the draft policy, Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden asked the sports associations to support the policy, which includes a codified mechanism for dealing with abuse disclosures, guidelines for mandatory reporting and screening of employees and volunteers. The ministry said the police would also be providing education on safeguarding children.

Robinson said local sports organisations need to ensure that officials are provided with the information and training necessary for them to carry out their duty to report suspected abuse or neglect.

Global statistics suggest that one in four girls and one in eight boys are sexually molested before they reach 18 years old. Studies also show that the average child molester may victimize 120 children before he or she is caught.

See presentation on new policy in the CNS Library

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Health, health and safety

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You know how many times I have seen a women smack her child hard or yell at them? The punishment didn’t fit the crime but they are in the public doing this. These kids will grow up to act the same and nothing will ever change. Be a role model and a good parent or stop having kids with 5 different men.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Remember, a child is for life, not just for Christmas or Batabano

  3. TW says:

    This is disturbing to read in a Country that has less than 60,000 people.

    However, with a Country drastically changing this is just one of the outcomes when we have the issues mentioned below:

    Cost of Living in the Cayman Islands is a major factor in the way in which our Society is changing.
    Grocery stores charge $3.00 for a loaf of bread, $6.00 for a gallon of milk, just basic necessities are too high. Utilities are unbelievable. Mother and Father working 2 or more jobs to keep a Family going, where a 13-year-old has to look after the younger siblings is another factor, this is bound to happen.

    We have no Law to punish Parents who do not contribute to Child Support.

    We have no Law to punish Parents for kids who roam the streets or anywhere else at any given time.

    We have a Law that states Children can marry at the age of 16 years old with a Parent’s consent (this is consent to sex). Child can get a Driver’s License at 17 years old, a child can drink alcohol at 18 years old. Something wrong with this picture???

    Our LAWS needs to be changed to protect Children, Women and Men in Domestic Violence to tougher punishment.

    As a community we need to stop hiding and being ashamed of the Predators that abuse anyone or think that they are above the Law.

    When our Immigration system failed to scrutinized criminals from other Countries because we lack upgrades and policies, these are the outcomes in our society.

    When we hire Law Enforcement Officers from other Countries that they are immune to such behaviors, they lack on handling the cases and bringing these Child Molesters and abusers to justice. Not Officers are in this category, but unfortunately we do have them.

    When we fail to teach to give our kids PRESENTS and not our PRESENCE, this is where our kids turn to others for Love and Support, and they fall victims to Humans who have no Care and Compassion!

    When our Church Community have failed and people don’t even want to go to Church, because kids are being molested by Church folks, we have a serious problem – Church should be a place for people looking healing and someone to trust in, not for people to do the opposite!

    I could go on, but as a community we need to stand together and demand our Government to change the Laws that protect our Kids, and as Parents we need to do our part to Protect our kids. God loaned them to us for a short period of time, don’t leave them to raise themselves, they are innocent we have to be their voice.

    This hurts reading this, but we must unite for the sake of our kids.

    • Anonymous says:

      Laws are one thing, and of course necessary. The main thing that needs changing if you really want to stop all this, is attitudes….open public discussion such as this forum, teach ins for adults and kids, constant and in your face and maybe, just maybe, we might get somewhere.

  4. Anonymous says:

    CNS, does this country has a statutory rape law?

    CNS: I’m going to pass your question onto Auntie.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The easiest way this happens is with divorced families and the children going back and forth. The different rules and the parent or both parents with lax rules.

    This is less likely to apply when the divorced parents are heavily involved in the child’s life.

    Predators rely on children that are not supervised and seek out opportunities of unsupervised or poorly supervised children.

    Other situations are when adults are in a position of trust and the child is taken advantage. E.g. Why aren’t the sports facilities housed with cameras everywhere?

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is an election year and protecting children might upset voters. Better to bash homosexuals and play the good Christian joker that way.

  7. SHOCKING! says:

    1,000 kids are being abused in a population of 60,000 people!? So basically a child that isn’t being abused is the minority?

    Do the churches and government ministers have a plan to correct this or are they just going to focus on denying gays equal rights?

    • robert says:

      Looks like 100 ? not a 1,000. although one is to many , anyone hurting children in any way , should be punished to the extreme , period .

    • Anonymous says:

      I would believe it. I remember in school, there were a few kids who would discuss and compare bruises from their parents. Way beyond “spare the rod spoil the child” and regular spankings. Definitely abuse but never reported to school or police.

      • anonymous says:

        anonymous. There is a fine line between what is perceived as discipline and abuse, but unfortunately few are educated on the impact they cause by crossing this line.

      • Anonymous says:

        I recall 30 years ago a boy aged 11 from West Bay telling me , his teacher, that his mama put a hot iron on his arm to discipline him. Her other method was to tie him to a tree and whip him. I was told at the time it was part of the biblical spare the rod spoil the child philosophy that the churches were preaching. If anyone reading this does not believe it, I am prepared to give the guy’s name though CNS might not print it.Yes, he has, surprise surprise, become a Northward resident. Frankly, so would I in his situation and the “shituation” off a staggering number of Caymanian students in our school system at that time. But no one, especially the Education Officers, all born Caymanians (admittedly of limited intellect), wanted to deal with it because they believed “in a good beating”.

    • Anonymous says:

      @SHOCKING! – I’m pretty sure that they’re going to just focus on denying the LGBT community equal rights. The fact that abuse of children has gone on for years and years without a single church/pastor or government official speaking out against it shows exactly the type of people we have in this country.

      Bit of a coincidence that it’s an election year and this now comes up.

      The abuse of children should have been addressed a LONG time ago!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Equal right for gays, sure, when they can conceive. We need to increase the population, not for it to remain stagnated. Growth, God loves it.

  8. Jigglypuff says:

    When is the anti-child abuse rally going to be arranged? Or is consenting adults that love each other a greater concern?

    And they wonder why discrimination and child abuse is prominent.

  9. Anonymous says:

    People have forgotten that a generation ago people got married from 13 years old. It will take time for future generations to change. But children under 18 years old are having sex and that will not change as my grandson has tried to argue with me. Children are very observant , whether watching TV or the internet even if you are not looking for it they see it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    It seems to be an epidemic…sick people….

    • Anonymous says:

      And this happening in a country of 55,000 people. Truly mind blowing. Cayman couture.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a cultural thing here. Go watch a Batabano parade. They are very proud of it. Nothing will change. Just watch your kids.

      • Anonymous says:

        Check out the video two daughters of the soil being ground into planters outside Kirk Freeport during Batabano a few years ago. The video still available despite government efforts to block it. Then tell me it isn’t a cultural thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Statutory rape law will end your cultural thing. When International community starts boycotting your events, such as Cayfest and Batabano for example, you might start thinking differently.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah right…”only the locals are doing this”.
      As we have seen in recent times alone, this includes gardeners, coaches, teachers, neighbours, uncles, women, men, teens, expats, gays, straight etc.
      There’s enough blame to go around, but that’s not the point.
      As a multi-generational Caymanian father (yes, from WestBay) I know of no such incidents in my extended family, so it is not everywhere (or i may just be lucky).
      Regardless – what are we going to do to assist these babies and kids?
      Between “cute” twerking kids, TV and radio exposure, innocent pre-teen girls begin sexed into high school gangs as they leave primary school, and the pressure on boys to “show that they are men” my joining in the same, there is a crisis all-around.
      i was one of the first to do the Darkness to Light training, I worked with youth for decades in an official capacity, so I know it is real, and reporting is often “controlled”.
      Just visit Burger King on Walkers Road to see this abuse in effect every day.
      So then – what are we ALL going to do to address this local, regional and global culture?

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is the sort of issue that should be a priority for the PPM but they rather focus the dock and concessions for rich developers

  12. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. says:

    WOW! That is not “Cayman kind” is it!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Deport them all”.

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