More rape victims reporting dons

THE parents of young girls have been coming forward to report the rape
of their daughters by so-called community dons over the last two years,
allowing the police to launch an aggressive assault to bring the abusers
to justice, head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and
Child Abuse (CISOCA) Superintendent Gladys Brown has said.

“We have a situation now on the ground where persons have come forward
and the dons threatened to do whatever to them, and I would send back a
message that “you are threatening to wipe them out, and I am going to
wipe you out (arrest you),” Brown said yesterday.

The superintendent, who was speaking at the weekly Observer Monday
Exchange, said last year CISOCA saw an increase in the reporting of
sexual assaults that occurred some years before in a phenomena the
agency has attributed to persons being far less intimidated by these
dons since the police crackdown on them began two years ago. In other
cases, some of the victims have moved out of some volatile communities
and now feel safer in coming forward to make their complaints to the
police.

“The shackles are broken and people feel free at last to come and report
that this has been happening to my girl child for some time,” she said.

CISOCA, she added further, has been and will continue to make an example of these sexual predators.

“What he (the don) wants is for these persons to shut up. And I am
saying we are going to shut you up by taking you into custody and have
you charged and make an example of you, because gone are the days when
dons have control over persons and can do what they do and get away,”
she said.

Meanwhile, the CISOCA head said the casual approach taken to sex is fuelling the sexual abuse of the nation’s children.

“I think it is a perception by lot of Jamaicans where neighbours will
know what is happening with a child but say ‘you don’t see a big woman
that, you nuh see how she dress?’, or they may say ‘ah she a shove up
herself on the man, so I don’t see anything wrong that, she deserves
what she get’,” Superintendent Brown said.

She argued that it is this complicit approach which causes persons to turn a blind eye in many instances of child abuse.

She noted that CISOCA has, however, seen an increase in the number of
reports of men having sex with girls under 16, which is the age of
consent.

“Although she may be shoving herself on the man, that man should shove
her away and say ‘you are a child, behave yourself and don’t come on to
me’.”

She pointed to a case involving a teacher at a school who was recently arrested for sexual offences against several children.

“So you have teachers who the little girls giggle and laugh when they
touch them, and so you find teachers will continue to touch a host of
them. We had a teacher brought in December with about seven girls from a
particular school. He had been touching them inappropriately for quite
some time until eventually one decided ‘this was not for me anymore’ and
this one girl caused the rest to come along to say ‘he did it to me
too’,” she said.

She also attributed this complicity with sex abuse to the fact that so
many persons become parents at a very young age and are ill-equipped to
be good guardians and stewards to their children.

“Some of our parents started having children young, and in those days we
never had any law to protect them, which is why the laws were (since)
enacted to protect young girls, because they are seen as more vulnerable
than young boys,” she said.

According to Superintendent Brown, no significant headway will be made
in the fight to stop grown men from having sex with underage girls,
until more perpetrators are thrown into prison.

However, she noted that the sexual predators’ nets have been cast wider
recently, as a number of young boys are also becoming victims.

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