“Let us not be silent when we see acts of violence against children.”
That’s the plea made by the Children’s Authority’s Acting Manager of Licensing and Monitoring, Chandrakala Sooknanan.
While delivering the feature address at the Touching a Life Foundation fundraising dinner at the NCIC Nagar, Chaguanas on Saturday night, Sooknanan said said since the Children’s Authority of T&T became operational on May 18, 2015, there have been 35,000 cases of abuse reported.
“The most reported type of abuse is sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and emotional abuse and the perpetrators are known to the children, maybe family members or persons known to the child’s family on average for every year we have received 4000-5000 reports of cases of abuse in T&T. The children who come to our attention are from 0-17, ” Sooknanan said.
She said, “Quite often persons may form the view that the Authority looks to remove children from families, sometimes that leads to a reluctance to report the abuse but I assure you, the Authority’s ethos is our philosophy that children thrive best with their families.” She said if removal is necessary; if a child is in imminent danger, needs to be rescued, the first option is always a suitable family member or a relative who can provide a safe space for that child.