Griffith: Time to imprison abusers
FAMILY COUNSELLOR at the Family Heartbeat Ministries, Haynesley Griffith, says he is longing to see the day when legislation is passed to imprison abusers.
Griffith, speaking to the DAILY NATION yesterday, pointed out that laws governing such cases were already in place in neighbouring Caribbean countries like Trinidad, adding that it was time that decisive action be taken and abusers held responsible for their actions.
“I am screaming for this legislation to be passed. I want to know that if a counsellor is aware that child abuse is taking place or has taken place, that these cases are made to be reported to the law enforcement officers,” he stressed.
Griffith, responding to recent remarks by director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, Patricia Hackett-Codrington, highlighting physical abuse among teens and cases of alleged abuse at primary schools reported in THE NATION, said what was happening was “nothing new, it’s now coming to light”.
The counsellor of over 30 years said abuse when not corrected led to a domino effect, adding that children in all “strata of class” were being taken advantage of.
Chairman of the Services Alliance For Violent Encounters (SAVE) Foundation, Liesel Daisley, added her voice, reporting that she received two to three emails per day from children who were being abused and were seeking help.
She said while most were young females, a few males had also sought help, some being suicidal, in her opinion.
“They are afraid to talk to their parents and afraid at what their response would be . . . Most of the time their abuser is either a family member or a neighbour,” she added.
Ministry director of the newly launched Women of Purpose, Jennifer Johnson, who also deals with abuse cases, said she knew of quite a few cases where young children were being targeted, some as young as 10 years old.
“People would have seen the recent abuses in the paper and believe these stories are being made up, but these are things that are actually happening,” she stressed. “These abusers start out by being friends to them and eventually by the time [the victims] are 12 or 13 they are actually getting them involved in sex.”