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Rape Crisis report reveals stunning fact: 300 cases of sex assault against children annually

Published: 
Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Rape Crisis Centre’s annual report shows almost 300 new cases of sexual assault, including incest, are perpetrated against  children every year. The revelation came from Marcus Kissoon, a director at the centre, during an interview on CNC3’s Morning Brew show on Tuesday. Kissoon said the centre’s youngest “client” was two and the oldest 86. The interview came the day after two men, both stepfathers, were charged, one with murder and rape and the other, the rape of three sisters. 

 

 

Kissoon said he had spent the last four months working with a coalition for sexual assault in New York, where mandatory report training was enforced and advocated that this kind of reporting should be implemented in T&T as well. “We have that law here,” he said, pointing out that doctors and nurses and anyone entrusted with the care of children had a duty to report any telltale signs of abuse.

 

Member of the Child Protection Task Force Margaret Sampson-Brown, who was also on the morning programme, expressed reservations about the lack of support services for victims. She also chastised mothers who enabled the sexual abuse of their children by doing nothing about it. “If a mother stays in a home, aware that her child/children are being abused sexually by her male friend, and does nothing about it, she is a predator,” she said. 

 

“She is also culpable. So I am saying, how do we deal with that? We come up with that information, we remove children from the home and place them where? “At the St Jude’s Home or at other homes? We have to be able to remove them and put them in a space and a place where they do not feel a victim anymore.” Sampson-Brown agreed that adults must be trained to identify signs of sexual abuse and not ignore it. 

 

She said parents also had to start believing their children and not dismiss them when they spoke of perpetrators in the same house. She said they should not be ignored when they exhibited highly sexual behaviour that is not the norm for a child that age. The country was recently shaken by the brutal rape and killing of six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch went missing on November 25 after leaving her Maloney Gardens, D’Abadie home on her way to her grandmother’s apartment one building away. 

 

Her decomposing body was found three days later in her apartment, inside a plastic cargo bag in a shipping barrel next to her mother Simone Williams’s bed. Cumberbatch was hit in the head so severely that her skull was cracked. She was then sexually assaulted, an autopsy report revealed. A male relative has since appeared in court charged with her killing and has been remanded to the St Ann’s Hospital for an evaluation.

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