Every Guyanese should speak out on the issue of the thirteen-year-old and the businessman

Stabroek News

June 3, 2004

Related Links: Letters on abducted 13 year old
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Dear Editor,

It is with disgust and appalling abhorence that I followed the saga of a 13-year-old being involved with an older man who could have been her father, and a helpless mother who cries in anguish about the situation. The mother and child are poor, while this man has money to flaunt and can defy social and moral codes to have sexual relations with a mere child on the weak excuse that he loves her and would like to marry her. I have to ask myself what is happening in our society today, and why aren't the church organisations, women's groups and every other social organisation standing up with one voice and denouncing this act.

It seems that more and more teenagers, especially girls, are seduced by money and power, since the disparity between those who have and those who don't have is ever widening in Guyana today. Thus the question, what legislation is being put in place to protect these teenagers? Isn't the family welfare office an institution set up to protect those who find themselves in such a situation? I remember reading that the Minister who has oversight for this very institution declaring it a crime when an Indian woman's hair was cut during a robbery. I am not condoning this, but where is that same vehemence in denouncing this businessman's attitude?

It would be argued by some sections of our society that this 13-year-old made her decision to be with this man. But if they were in Ms Hamid's situation, then they would definitely react differently. Ms Hamid, I applaud your boldness to bring this in the open and fight for your daughter. Do not give up. I call upon every thinking Guyanese from every stratum of our society to boldly declare that this is wrong and would not be tolerated. If not, it will soon become acceptable behaviour and a way of life.

Yours faithfully,

Caren English