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Minister – Child abuse cases down

Minister – Child abuse cases down

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Overall, cases of child abuse were down in St Vincent and the Grenadines in 2006 compared to 2005, but statistics show that instances of physical abuse increased.

Delivering an address recently to mark the beginning of Child Abuse and awareness month, Minister for Family Affairs, Michael Browne said that, while he was glad that the overall figures of child abuse instances fell from 509 in 2005 to 335 in 2006 that there was still reason for concern.{{more}}

“We have to work with parents, teachers, faith based organizations, and other non governmental organizations to protect our gems, our children,” he said.

Minister Browne said that Vincentians must remember that the children are our future stars.

“We must seek to prevent the pain of abuse,” he said.

The official statistics show that occurrences of sexual abuse increased by one from 34 in 2005 to 35 in 2006. Physical abuse reports were also up from 65 in 2005 to 73 in 2006.

However cases of neglect, abandonment and non-maintenance all showed decreases from numbers of 83, 76, and 251 in 2005 to 50, 48 and 129 respectively in 2006.

A Blue Ribbon campaign will also be launched as part of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ observance of Child Abuse and Awareness month. Minister Browne explained that the International symbol of the blue ribbon reflects on all the bruised and battered children who suffer abuse daily.

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