The People’s National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) says it is deeply troubled by the recent incidents of sexual violence against young girls and a teen with autism in Jamaica.
The abduction and rape of a seven-year-old girl in St Mary, the rape of a 12-year-old girl in St. Elizabeth, and the alleged rape of an autistic teenage patient at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) are all horrific and abhorrent crimes that demand our attention and action.
In a recent statement, the youth group expressed strong condemnation against these acts of violence and calls for a swift investigation, prosecution, and appropriate sentencing of the perpetrators.
“We also urge the government and law enforcement agencies to prioritize the safety and protection of our children by implementing stricter measures to prevent and address cases of sexual abuse,” the PNPYO said.
President of the PNPYO, Senator Gabriela Morris remarked, “It is extremely gut-wrenching to hear of these incidents where our children suffer at the hands of vile miscreants. I am urging the government to ensure that swift and impartial justice is met for these depraved individuals. It is crucial that the sentences for these crimes reflect their severity, particularly when committed against children.”
The PNPYO wishes to also place on record the following recommendations:
- Adequate support for survivors of sexual violence, including access to counselling, medical care, and legal assistance.
- We recommend that the government move with alacrity to amend critical legislation, such as the Child Care and Protection Act to ensure stricter penalties for offences against minors.
- Utilise institutions such as the National Parenting Association and community groups, social workers and other stakeholders to conduct interventions aimed at dispelling negative and harmful behaviours and perceptions that continue to protect offenders.
“As a society, we must do more to address the root causes of sexual violence and to create a culture that values and respects the rights and dignity of all individuals, especially children and vulnerable populations. We also encourage reporting sexual violence and provide information on available helplines or support services for survivors through organizations such as the Office of Children Registry at 1-888-PROTECT (1-888-776-8328),” the group added.
“We stand in unwavering solidarity with the survivors and their families, offering our support, compassion, and commitment to seeking justice and will continue to advocate for justice and accountability for these and all other cases of sexual violence in Jamaica,” the PNPYO statement read.