After a notable absence from the public, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley finally addressed the issues headlining national discourse over the past few weeks.
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Children’s Authority on child sexual abuse: 1,000 cases in 9 months
Boys three years and younger are being sexual abused in this country while in Tobago children between one and three are being sexually abused by other children.
The highest reported types of child sexual abuse offences were sexual penetration and sexual touching.
This was disclosed in a report on child sexual abuse complied by the Children's Authority over a nine-month period.
The report also noted that close to 1,000 cases of child sexual abuse were brought to the attention of the authority during the period, representing one in five enduring such trama.
The authority said it was notified that 4,158 children were in need of care, protection and rehabilitation.
"Of this, approximately 915 cases or one in five reports were categorised as sexual abuse," the report said, which highlighted statistical information compiled during the period May 18, 2015 to February 17, 2016
Of the cases 86.8 per cent comprised girls while 13.2 per cent of sexual abuse cases involved boys.
While reports of sexual abuse against children were received from all districts in T&T the districts of San Juan/Laventille, Tunapuna/Piarco and Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo recorded the most number of reports of sexual abuse against children than any other district in the country.
Of the cases 17.4 per cent of all cases of sexual abuse against children occurred in San Juan/Laventille, 13.3 per cent in Tunapuna/Piarco and 9.6 per cent in Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo.
Conversely, the districts of Point Fortin, Rio Claro/Mayaro and all collective districts in Tobago recorded the least number of reports of sexual abuse against children during this
Sexual abuse against boys
While girls were predominately reported as the victims of sexual abuse during the authority’s first nine months of operation there were 148 cases of boys who were sexually abused in T&T.
Alarmingly, the highest percentage of cases of sexual abuse against boys reported to the authority involved boys between the ages of four to six, representing 26.4 per cent of all reports of sexual abuse against boys.
Close to 23 per cent involved boys between the ages of ten and 13 years old, while 17.6 per cent were between the ages of seven to nine years.
The report showed that 15.5 per cent involved boys between the ages of 14 to 15 years, while 10.1 per cent of all sexual abuse cases against boys involved toddlers and boys three years old and younger.
San Juan/Laventille recorded the highest number of cases with 22.3 per cent followed by Tunapuna/Piarco with 10.1 per cent.
Diego Martin and Port-of-Spain recorded the lowest with 8.1 per cent.
Abuse in Tobago
There were 195 cases of children committing sexual offences against other children (child on child abuse) reported to the authority.
The majority of the victims were females accounting for 72.8 per cent while 27.2 per cent were males.
The report showed that 55.8 per cent victims of child on child sexual abuse were under the age of ten, with 29.2 per cent being between the ages of four and six years, 17.4 per cent between the ages of seven to nine and 9.2 per cent between the ages of one to three.
The highest number of cases was reported in St Andrew with 32.3 per cent, 22.6 per cent each in both Saint Patrick and Saint George, 9.7 per cent occurred in St Mary’s while 3.2 per cent took place each in St David, St John and St Paul.