The Children's Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (CA) yesterday reminded parents to be extra vigilant to ensure their children's safety over the school vacation period, when predators could potentially have easier access to unsupervised minors.
In a media release, the Authority noted that the abuse of children rises during vacation sessions from school, as children are often left unsupervised for longer periods.
This can provide increased access and opportunities to child abusers.
The nation's schools are currently out for the July-August vacation, a long break that often challenges parents in terms of juggling children and work and in finding safe places for those times when they are unable to keep children with them or leave them at home.
“Parents and guardians are reminded that perpetrators of abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, are usually known to the child and his or her family,” stated the Authority, which produced its first annual report earlier this year, showing data on the prevalence of child abuse, geographical frequency and typical sources of abuse.
“Therefore, close attention should be paid to children to observe any changes in their behaviour or their interaction with those considered trusted and responsible adults.”
The Authority again advised that child protection is “everyone's business”, and if child abuse is suspected, it should be reported to the Authority's hotline at 996, 800-2014 or to the Police.