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Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has been investigating cases of sexual offences against children. If one was to hear the kind of offences that CISOCA has come across in a short period of time, they may feel shattered. Consider this: Senior Superintendent, Charmaine Shand, who heads this investigative setup says some officers of their unit were themselves traumatised after dealing with some of the cases. If this is the condition of the trained police officers, imagine how the conscience of the society would be shaken when the details are shared.
Family Part of the Problem
One of the significant facts to come to the attention of the investigating body after they had investigated 375 cases of child sex abuse was that in a large number of cases, the people committing the crimes were in some way known to their victims. Either they were relatives, neighbours, teachers, stepfathers, stepmothers, brothers, uncles or cousins, who had abused the children. The Senior Superintendent said some of the cases were perverse – even a grandmother who took advantage of her grandson, cases of aunts taking advantage of their nephews, the list goes on. Ms. Shand said it has led to a situation where the parents need to be more cautious with their own people than strangers.
Breakup of Crimes
Senior Superintendent Shand was delivering an address at a Rotary Club meeting in Kingston, where she shared these details with the audience. Giving a breakup of the 375 cases, she said there were 103 cases of rape, 182 cases of sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 16 and 17 cases of sexual touching. In addition,there were 21 cases of grievous sexual assault as well. She felt that the parents had a lot more to do to improve the situation of their little ones. They need to keep a close watch on their kids and speak to them on all sensitive issues as they grow up. The other disturbing fact the police officer revealed was that in many cases where the sexual abuse involved intercourse, it resulted in the girls becoming pregnant. She further disclosed that it was only when the girls were detected in the hospitals, pregnant, that the abuse came to light. The doctors at the hospitals have been sensitised to the issue and only when the girls obtain a reference from the police, they are provided treatment. Again, the abuse cases get reported only through such instances.