Sexual abuse of children in Jamaica is real! For some communities it seems to be a growing trend. According to the Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR) at least 7,245 Jamaican children are reported to have been assaulted over the last four years. There has been a massive spike in the number of reports received with the figure jumping from 121 reported cases in 2007 to 2,652 as of last year, keep in mind they said ‘reported’. Can you imagine the number of cases that are not reported and covered up because of shame or fear for one’s life or the lives of family members? What about the children who don’t talk out? What about the children who live in homes where it is the norm? Who hears them when they cry? Who helps them? Who comforts them? Who lets them know that help is available?
As a child, I was abused by someone my mother trusted; he told me that if I told my mom would beat me. I was only 7 years old then. My mother was a single mother who never let me felt hunger, she literally went to the market every day.
Being abused caused me to lose my self-worth, my self-esteem, basically, I lost me. I knew it was wrong but I was afraid of telling, I was ashamed. Being abused messed my life up in multiple ways: I became sexually active at an early age and I blame my current situation of being HIV positive on my childhood experience of sexual and emotional abuse.
I believe that I am strong black woman and I have risen above all my pain and am still rising. I did this without the desired help from anyone. Because I now know that my childhood was not my fault, I have also forgiven my abuser, whom I see on a daily basis. As I said before, I am over that, I RISE
But are these children who we might say are bad really bad? Or are they just seeking someone to care, can they overcome the experiences of abuse? Will they survive? If so then how? What can we do to help? We are just as guilty as the abuser if we are aware and turn a blind eye to the situation saying “it is not my business or child”?
I do care, not because I was abused but because I am concerned about our country’s future.
LET CHILD ABUSE END WITH YOU!
submitted by Promise