Tuesday, February 20, 2018


...after 11-year-old raped by him

An 11-year-old girl was raped by her father and is now pregnant as a result.

This was revealed on Tuesday night by Margaret Sampson-Browne, head of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Victim and Witness Support Unit.

Sampson-Browne also said child abuse, including sexual assault, in the Chaguanas area was on the rise, with the number of reports made this year already surpassing last year's count.

Speaking at a Child Abuse Seminar at the Flaming Word Ministry, Chaguanas, Sampson-Browne said, "In 2011 there were 200 victims of child abuse in Chaguanas, and for this year there were already reports of 300 victims."

Sampson-Browne said her unit was dealing with the case of an 11-year-old girl, who was raped by her father and is now pregnant with his child.

"The sexual organs of the child have not yet developed, but she is having a child," said Sampson-Browne. 

She said investigations are continuing and arrangements are being made to remove the child from her home and make her a ward of the State while she will be receiving counselling and medical treatment.

She pleaded with parents attending the seminar to use every means possible to protect children from sexual abuse.

She said the biggest problem facing the child abuse unit is that the children are not leaving their homes, but are still becoming sex abuse victims.

"It is happening right in the home where they live. It is either the father, step-father or uncles who are sexually abusing the children and getting them pregnant," she said.

"If a child is being abused, we cannot protect that child if it is taking place in the house in which they live. And now we have to deal with teachers who are abusing the children entrusted to them," said Sampson-Browne.

On Monday, a primary school teacher appeared in the Chaguanas Magistrates' Court, charged with the rape, indecent assault and grievous sexual assault of a 13-year-old pupil at the school where he taught.

Sampson-Browne said, "The unit is now faced with reports of ten-year-olds being abused, fondled and even made to perform oral sex. You parents have to play your part, because it is the community that must take care of its community."

She said there are 18 officers attached to the unit.

"They are there for you and we expect you to report all cases of child abuse, if we are to rid the nation of  the problem," she said.

Sampson-Browne said in many cases reports are made to the police long after the incident took place.

"Sometimes it is too late for us to assist the families," she said.

Also speaking at the function was Mary Moonan, an official of Child Line, a child advocacy group working to ensure children live in an environment free from physical, emotional, sexual and psychological violence.

Moonan said child abuse takes different forms.

"When a father leaves the home for the mother alone to take care of the child, that is regarded as child abuse," she said.

She said her organisation was committed to assisting mothers whose children are victims of child abuse.

"Come to us, don't be afraid to make a report, whatever the circumstances the information will be dealt with in a confidential manner," she said.

ASP Joanne Archie, who was present at the seminar, said they continue to receive several reports of incest in Central Trinidad and these matters are often referred to the Child Abuse Committee. She said in many cases the perpetrator is either the father, uncle or the brother and that makes it difficult because the child has to live in the same home that the incest was committed.

She said national figures on child abuse were not available.

Minister in charge of the Flaming Word Ministry, Bishop Dave Alleyne, blamed many of the child abuse cases on the use of alcohol.

"The sponsors of alcoholic drinks are to some extent responsible for the abuse carried out on children," he said, adding that, "any person who was abused becomes an abuser later on."

Central Division Senior Superintendent Deodath Dulachan, said, "Within the last two weeks police had to deal with a number of cases. They come from all strata, and from homes in which you would hardly think such offences will take place."  

He told his audience they should come forward and report the cases because, "It is an offence to hide cases of sexual abuse. You have a duty to report it".