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Too many cases of sexual abuse of girls, says ASP Nichols

Too many cases of sexual abuse of girls, says ASP Nichols

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A senior police officer within the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force has stated that there are “ridiculously too many” cases of incest and sexual abuse involving underage females and adult males being reported across the nation.{{more}}

Assistant Superintendent of Police Jonathan Nichols, head of the Police Public Relations Department, spoke to SEARCHLIGHT recently, lamenting the issue and calling for more persons to stand up against it.

“I’m very passionate about this,” he insisted. “It is really disheartening to see any child under 15 sexually molested. That is statutory rape!”

According to statistics provided by the Criminal Investigation Department, in 2009 there were 34 cases of intercourse under the age of 15, 28 cases of intercourse under the age of 13, and three cases of incest. In 2010, there were 36 cases of intercourse under the age of 15, 20 cases of intercourse under the age of 13, and one case of incest.

In 2011, there were 46 cases of intercourse under the age of 15, 120 cases of intercourse under the age of 13, and 77 incest cases. In 2012, there were 39 cases of intercourse under the age of 15, 31 cases of intercourse under the age of 13, and 6 incest cases.

2013 saw 38 cases of intercourse under the age of 15, 64 cases of intercourse under the age of 13, and 18 cases of incest.

Nichols said that he has come across sexual abuse cases where the female victims are as young as four years old.

“I cannot understand why… some of our males can be so sick to destroy the youth,” he said. “That’s a scar for life… especially when it is done by trusted persons. They are violating the innocence of these children.”

Statistics from the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment’s monitoring and evaluation reports indicate that in 2011, of the reported cases of underage deliveries (births), eight were to girls 10 – 14 years old and 131 were to girls aged 15 – 17.

In 2012, eight were to girls 10 – 14 years old, and 112 were to girls aged 15 – 17, whilst in 2013, five girls aged 10 – 14 gave birth, and 127 were age 15 – 17.

ASP Nichols lamented the fact that in many instances, parents/guardians either don’t believe the children when they reveal the abuse, or they are aware of the abuse and condone it by keeping silent.

“It really is unfortunate,” he said. “We keep saying to break the silence; protect the children. Let them grow up to be decent young ladies, because too many of our women folk are hurting as adults!”

Nichols appealed to parents, guardians and other members of the public to not condone this abusive behaviour, and urged them to report incidents to the police as soon as they are discovered.

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