“Child abuse and child neglect is a major social problem that exists in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and continues to threaten the lives and health of our nation’s children,” says Director of the Child Development Division, Jemma Alexander.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday April 9, 2018 to launch activities for the 2018 National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month, Ms. Alexander explained that the month of month is dedicated to encourage individuals and communities to support our children and families while preventing abuse from happening.
Ms. Alexander said the national Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month is not a celebration “but is an on-going public education campaign to encourage persons in society to acknowledge the prevalence of child abuse and providing information on how to respond and where to access services to help both victims and perpetrators.”
She said in 2017 there were more than 300 reported cases of child abuse.
“Of these reported cases, 20% were sexual abuse, 37% were physical and emotional abuse and 43% were cases of neglect. From the data collected, girls were victimised more often than boys at 63% and over 53% of child abuse and neglect were in children younger than 12 years of age.”
“Even more alarming there was a significant increase in reported cases of sexual abuse,” she added.
The 2018 National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month of activities focuses on the theme “Every Child Safe, Every Community Awake!”