ChildLinK sensitized 58 children on child abuse and suicide at the Ministry of the Presidency, Department of Social Cohesion, Culture, Youth and Sport’s Youth Camp on August 10, 2018. The camp was held in Christianburg, Linden.
The facilitator shared the definition of child sexual abuse and noted that child sexual abuse can take two forms: contact and non contact. Many children do not realize that an individual does not have to touch them in order for an incident to be considered sexual abuse. Showing a child pornographic images, for example, is a form of non contact child sexual abuse. The children were also sensitized about the effects of child sexual abuse and were engaged in a discussion on myths of child sexual abuse.
Reports indicate that child abuse is on the increase and Region 10 has high incidents of child abuse. From 2014 to 2017, the number of child abuse cases reported to the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) increased by 52 percent. However, child abuse remains vastly under reported as previous ChildLinK research suggest that Guyana’s culture of secrecy contributes to this. Thus, it is important that children and parents are sensitized about child abuse and systems are put in place to ensure interventions are readily available to facilitate healing.
The Department of Social Cohesion, Culture, Youth and Sport has demonstrated a willingness to collaborate with Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as ChildLinK to address child abuse, suicide and other social issues which are in many cases are cross cutting issues.