Rape, incest rampant in Central Trinidad
There have been more than 200 reported cases of incest, rape and sexual abuse for the year to date in Central Trinidad.
Last year, Central Trinidad also recorded the highest number of reported cases of rape, incest and sexual abuse in Trinidad and Tobago.
The statistics were revealed yesterday by Margaret Sampson-Browne, director of the Police Service Victim and Witness Support Unit, at the "Violence Against Children" conference at Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain.
"We have had almost 800 clients coming to us from central...including Chaguanas, Couva, and those outlining areas in central.
"It is now quite evident that child abuse is becoming rampant in our country," she added, noting that the children of the nation are under attack by sexual predators, who must be jailed.
"The reality is the adult men use their penis on little children— anal sex, oral sex and vaginal sex and it's happening," said Sampson-Browne, who stressed the need to "design a social network, a crisis management information service, so in a crisis like this people shouldn't wonder where I have to go...people should just fall in to work with them".
She said the Children's Authority Act has no impact on the criminals.
Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal also agreed.
She said if you neglect a child by suffocating the child to death, under the Children's Authority Act, the criminal, if given a summary offence, is fined $5,000 or six months' imprisonment.
"The act talks about burning of children negligently, but you know what I think about that...the penalty for that is $400.
"Also if a child is injured, so much so that the child loses sight, hearing or a limb...the law states that for summary offences, the perpetrator can be fined $5,000 or six months' imprisonment. However, under the Offences against a Person Act, the perpetrator can get life imprisonment.
"I had to go to Toco...a father and a son sexually abused the child, the community turned against her, the grandmother turned against her...she had to go by a friend," said Seetahal.
Both Sampson-Browne and Seetahal are calling for the Children's Authority Act to be re-visited and for stiffer penalties to be enforced.
Sampson-Browne noted that they have already submitted a proposal to acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams for a children's task force. She said police officers who are a part of this force will receive special training. —TV6 News