Sexual molestation of children seems widespread
Stabroek News
February 16, 2002

Dear Editor

In a recent discussion with a doctor he mentioned that his examination of a 7-year-old girl showed evidence of sexual molestation and the child's mother later confirmed that she was being molested by her grandfather. In response to the suggestion of the child's mother that she would go to the police, the doctor advised her to move the child out of the situation, instead of pursuing it with the police, since this (the publicity) would affect her for the rest of her life. My words to the doctor were "how much more can a child who is sexually molested be affected?"

I observed in the Chronicle an article headlined "Under-12 carnal knowledge victim wants to drop case" in which it was reported that the mother of the victim "told the magistrate that the virtual (complainant) does not want to pursue the prosecution because of the embarrassment it would cause her at school."

I also have evidence of two other instances where children have been abused and due to fear of embarrassment their parents did not pursue the cases.

I wish to recommend that:

1) the social organisations in Guyana launch campaigns to sensitise people that to admit and report that they are being sexually violated is nothing to be ashamed of;

2) greater care be taken to protect the privacy of children, in particular, who are victims of sexual abuse so that their families would be encouraged to pursue their cases;

3) the enactment of appropriate and effective legislation.

This scourge must be eradicated!!

Yours faithfully,

(name and address supplied)