Shocking surge of promiscuity in pre-teen children
Jamaica gets a rude awakening with children as young as four engaging in sexual activity.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday August 01, 2012 – The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) says it is concerned about an increase in cases of underage sex between young children, with over 30 cases reported in a single week.
"When I say children having sex with children, I am talking about a four-year-old having sex with a six-year-old, eight and nine, 10 and 11, 12 and 12, 13 and 13, 14 and 14 [year olds]," CISOCA's head, Superintendent Gladys Brown, said.
Speaking at the launch of the Child Abuse Reporting System (CARS) at the Mona Visitors' Lodge at the University of the West Indies, Brown said that her team had been tackling the sexual abuse of children by adults as a priority area, but recent revelations have forced them to rethink their focus.
"We have been wearing blinkers in one direction because we thought we knew what the problem was, and suddenly we got a rude awakening – 32 cases in seven days," she revealed.
"This is not something I am prepared to keep to myself. I had a case yesterday where a brother and sister were having both vaginal and anal sex and then the cousin joined the group and the party became bigger," Brown disclosed.
"We are looking at a case of a 10-year-old girl willingly participating with her brother and cousin, who are both 12, and she goes to a prominent preparatory school in Jamaica. These are not some country children or some illiterate children who have no clue. They go to prominent prep schools," she added.
"What is happening to our children?" she asked.
According to the CISOCA head, reports of children having sex with children have been flooding her office over the past two weeks, with 32 cases reported in the second week of July alone.
She said, moreover, that the police have difficulty dealing with the cases as the law prohibits them from holding children under 12 years old personally accountable for their actions.
"A child under 12 cannot be charged for anything, and it is even worse when they are related to each other," she indicated.
Brown went on to make a heartfelt appeal for civil society to curb this incestuous promiscuity among the country’s children.
"Jamaica has to help. I am not going to lie in my bed at nights and can't sleep,” she declared.
"Adults can do what they want, but children must be guided and protected. They need counselling, and I am here to beg, to plead and seek assistance from those who can do something, let us do something."
The CISOCA chief also blamed adults for this situation and said it pointed to a lack of proper parenting skills and supervision.
She urged parents and guardians to be more vigilant about keeping an eye on children under their care, noting that the issue is especially worrisome now that children are on their summer school break and have a lot of time on their hands.
"This is not like when we were growing up in the country playing 'dollie-house'. This 'dollie-house' is serious and is bigger. You have boys and girls having anal and vaginal sex, then you have the boys turning on one another and it is all fun. They have lost their direction and some of you have to come and help," Brown urged.
CARS was launched by Help JA Children, a newly-formed children's advocate group.
Owners of smartphones, specifically BlackBerrys, will be able to report cases of child sex-abuse directly to the Office of the Children's Registry by downloading CARS from BlackBerry app world.