Thursday, December 14, 2017

Counselling for pregnant 12-year-old

No sign of suspect, 25

The 12-year-old girl who became pregnant, after she was sexually assaulted by her sister’s ex-boyfriend, will receive counselling from the Ministry of the People’s Family Services Unit.

Minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh gave the assurance yesterday after being informed that no one had intervened to assist the child and her family following complaints from relatives.

He told the Express that a team would visit the child and provide the necessary assistance.

The child’s mother said her daughter has not been offered counselling and she accused the police of failing to detain the suspect, a 25-year-old electrician.

The Express highlighted the incident four days ago, but no State agency contacted the family. The Express visited the family’s home yesterday.

“No one has come to us. My child is just sitting inside the house alone. She doesn’t come outside. She don’t want anyone, not even us, to look at her. No one has come to help us out. She needs counselling. I need counselling. I don’t know how to handle this situation,” the 41-year-old woman said.

The standard five pupil walked out of her bedroom, where she spends most of her day, while the Express was speaking with her mother and older sister.

The child did not want to speak about the incident, which occurred at the suspect’s house in Princes Town last September.

“He tell me don’t say anything. He said we will both get in trouble and my mother will put me out if she finds out. He said my mother will beat me in front of everybody,” she said softly.

Her mother, a single parent, said her daughter never showed signs of pregnancy. “Until one day last term, she faint in school. After that I started to observe her and I realised she was getting fat. Her belly was bulging. I thought she was eating too much, I still didn’t think she was pregnant. I took her to a doctor and he did an ultrasound. I could not believe the results,” she said.

The mother said her daughter was already five months pregnant with a baby boy.

“I started to quarrel with her. Then she told me what the boy did to her. She is so coward and shy, that is why she didn’t say anything,” she said.

The girl has refused to show her growing abdomen to her family. She has not attended school since a doctor confirmed she was pregnant on January 9.

“I miss school. I miss my friends. But I cannot go to school like this. I wanted to write SEA and pass for a good school like Naps or ASJA. I wanted to become a lawyer,” she said.

Her mother said the girl performed well in school and had big dreams. “My life was real hard. I had to work and raise these children. I was looking forward to this child passing for a college and making me proud. Now I don’t know what will happen. But after she has the baby, if everything works out well I will make sure she goes back to school,” she said.

The woman said her daughter was too young to become a mother and keeping the child was not an option. “She cannot make a decision for herself. She is not an adult. I am the adult and she is not keeping this child. No matter how attached she feels. My daughter cannot raise a child, she is a baby. I will have to give this child up for adoption,” she said.

The girl agreed with her mother. “I cannot do this. I don’t know how to raise a baby. I don’t want to keep the baby,” she said.

The mother said she survives on disability grant and would not be able to maintain her family. “I have eight children, but four live with me and a grandchild too. I cannot afford to take care of all of them. We will have to find a good family for the baby,” she said.

The girl’s older sister, who was separated from the suspect, said she blamed herself for what happened to her baby sister. “I became pregnant for him and after awhile we separated. He lived Princes Town. He came a few times and asked me to bring the child for a weekend. That day he came with his father and begged me to bring the child. I asked my sister if she wanted to go and she said yes. I took the baby and we went. We lime in the gallery and then I was feeling sick so I went to bed. That was when he assaulted her. I didn’t know anything. I am so sorry for this,” she said. The sister has a seven-month-old baby girl.

The child’s mother said she was embarrassed to take her pregnant daughter out of the house. Princes Town police have said a warrant was issued for the man’s arrest. The Express learned that officers visited the man’s house at the weekend, but he could not be found.