Photos courtesy Ishmael Sandy
Parents were forced to hug their young ones tighter over this weekend after hearing news of the tragic death of Keyana Cumberbatch
. A 6 year old girl, so full of life, love…..innocence, was removed from this world, by a male known to her family in a most disgusting fashion. A nation is hurt. But this is not the first instance where a child was killed by the hands of her care-giver. Amy Annamunthodo aged 4 a few years past was tortured and abused by her stepfather. Likewise, Kareema Roberts just two and a half years old died as a result of blunt forced trauma at the hands of her stepfather. In light of Keyana’s death, her father pleaded with, not only the local authorities but the nation as well, to look for tell tale signs if discomfort in your child, take better care as well as a closer look into their lives. The police service as a result issued a press release stating the urgency they are placing on missing persons reports. Police officers are expected to act on a missing persons report immediately, or face disciplinary action…. Removing the 24hr window that was necessary, before placing any such report. Additionally the police service has highlighted issues of abuse as reports of such actions mostly go unreported. Section 10 of the sexual offenses act 11:28 1 and 2 a & b as well as highlighting Section 9 of the sexual offenses act 11:28 dealing with incest. Response from the public however are still in the negative with comments like: Person 1 “so what yuh telling me is half the police officers don’t know the law then?” Person 2 “Don’t talk just act” Person 3 “No more talk enough is enough get the job done” . This coming on the heels of an outburst by former minister of Gender and Youth and Child Development, Mrs. Verna St. Rose-Greaves interrupted a sitting in the lower house pleading to the government that something must be done.
The answer that many persons put forward lies with court systems and social work. Social work is defined as: organized work directed toward the betterment of social conditions in the community, as by seeking to improve the condition of the poor, to promote the welfare of children, etc. The emphasis being paid on the children, Verna St.Rose Greaves had a point in that something must be done. What if the adoption of specific roll of social workers be implemented to our system where children of a specific age be monitored on things like their surroundings, to make sure that it is fit for the child. The onus now falls on the children’s authority, child care services and the social welfare division just to name a few. The word reform is always tossed around, but it is something that should be looked at. Also families should be charged to take better care of their children, everything starts and ends with family