Call for laws to punish those who hide child sexual crimes

Dr.  Johnson said it cannot be business as usual
Dr. Johnson said it cannot be business as usual

As the discussion on child sexual abuse continues to rage in Dominica, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. David Johnson, is calling for legislative ammendments so that it will be an offense to have knowledge of a child sex-related crime and not report it or hide it.

He was speaking at a Stakeholder’s Consultation on Response to Rape/Sexual Assault Protocol on Thursday 28th May 2015 at the APU Conference centre at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

“It is my opinion that those who are aware that a child is sexually abused and do nothing about it are just as guilty as the perpetrators,” he noted. “Our Sexual Offences Legislation must therefore be amended to ensure that all those who are aware of Rape/Sexual Assaulted committed against a minor and do not report it are guilty of an offence. It can no longer be business as usual.”

He called on society to “condemn” these acts of crime as the protocol can’t do it alone.

“There has to be an of all-society approach to address this huge problem,” he stated. “Society has to condemn these acts of crime. No one, irrespective of relationship to the child, status in society, colour of their skin or hair, financial power or other types of power, or people who know people who know people,’ must be allowed to continue to commit these criminal offences against minors.”

He stated that no one must remain silent on the matter.

“If we are not part of the solution, then we are part of the problem,” he noted.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Helen Royer, who also addressed the function, said the protocol has been developed from the recommendations of medical experts based on best practices.

“It is intended to be used by health care providers to ensure comprehensive care of sexual assault patients,”she said. “It is important because priority medical care is to be provided to the sexual assault patient with sensitivity, culturally appropriate and respectful manner regardless of when the sexual assault occurred.”

Royer added that the type of care received will lead a victim on the “process of becoming a survivor.”

Stakeholders at the consultation included officials from the Ministries of Health, Legal Affairs, Social Services and National Security.

 

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21 Comments

  1. lADY lOVE
    May 30, 2015

    The wife beaters needs to be dealt with as well. Perge the damn place. Stop hiding behind all you big titles and man up.

  2. May 29, 2015

    Thanks Dr. Johnson! It is time that something is being done to protect these victims. Teachers, parents, friends are all included. I am a school bus driver, and in the State I live in, if a child tells me he / or she is being abused and I donot report it, I will be arrested loose my job. So its time Dominica. Also! The Government should put in place a data base of these criminals so people can know who they are. Criminals! We are on your heels

  3. Big-Bannan
    May 29, 2015

    The OECS needs one database that publicly lists Sex Offenders in case those criminals travel to neighboring islands with their bad habits. It should be unlawful for a teacher to beat a child at any time for any reason. Slavery and corporal Punishment should be emancipated from our culture.

  4. The Facts
    May 28, 2015

    Dr. Johnson, I wholeheartedly agree with you. To quote the word/teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ: “Those who know and do nothing, “It is a sin.”
    Too often some will say it is not my business. Let the authorities or others figure it out or find it out for themselves. How wrong! Little do we know God will hold us accountable for keeping silent.
    The theme, “Silent No More” could be adopted. Incidentally, this name may have already been taken by a US Catholic Group as heard on the Catholic Radio Station. A research could be done on it. It is an appropriate theme/title to use for this child sexual abuse in D/ca and more so today.
    “Protect the children and keep them safe could be another one.
    I am pleased to know that something is finally being done, government, judge and other nationals about this atrocity committed against innocent children.
    It is indeed everyone’s business. I am with you and also in prayers. God bless everyone of you for this great work.

  5. Enough is Enough
    May 28, 2015

    Moving in the right direction. There also need to be a sex offender list to expose these good for nothings. Start educating the mothers. Give them clear warnings before throwing the book at them. Some mothers need counseling and education to help them understand and recognize that their precious ones are in danger.

  6. Anthony Ismael
    May 28, 2015

    Thank you for speaking out on this most important issue. The numbers are simply staggering. The solution is simple: One hundred years in jail for convicted rapist with no parole. The sentences must be stiff enough, that these monsters will be afraid to even look at a child as one of their victims.

    Secondly, a more robust Director of Public Prosecution Office. Levi Peters is definitely not the man for the job. Get rid of Levi now before his incompetence continues to ruin more lives. We need a DPP with “Ice Water” in his veins.

    After reading the figures of child molestation presented by Judge Thomas, I am wondering aloud, where are the convictions to go along with these figures? What has “Levi Peters” been doing all this time, besides drawing his salary every month end and living the good life.

    Where are the protest to get rid of Levi Peters? Levi Must go and he must go now. He is soft like butter and incompetent. Levi must go. Levi must go.

    • me
      May 29, 2015

      Levi is not the DPP if you are going to rant at least research his position first he is the AG not dpp

  7. timb
    May 28, 2015

    What about physical abuse??? That’s OK??? Beating a child with belts and whips….a child is scarred emotionally, and become emotionally unstable adults..all abuse us abuse…why is is legal to physically abuse kids

    • Big-Bannan
      May 29, 2015

      Corporal Punishment derived from slavery still exists, sadly. That is still the most common and prevalent form of child abuse in Dominica.

  8. timb
    May 28, 2015

    Even teachers and conseler s on w about the abuse and keeps it a secret because the mother gave ves them her reason why she want it to be kept a secret….it won’t happen again…

  9. timb
    May 28, 2015

    Yep…men with respectable positions who sexually abuse kids 13 and younger…they get away with it…their girlfriend/ wives keep it a secret after finding out that their daughter was abused…first its denial but when it happens again I did not know what keeps them from reporting it

  10. May 28, 2015

    I suspect the need for a law making the reporting of a known sexual child abuse crime mandatory has been felt by many Dominicans for a long time.

    It is encouraging to have high profile professionals like Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson speak to the issue. He made the point that it must not make any difference who the molester is, or his station in life, they must all be made to face justice. It seems a good foundation is being laid for the implementation of such a law.

    Is Dominica turning a corner in the battle against sexual child abuse? That depends now on what your P.M. and his government do with this.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. D.D. International Evangelist.

  11. Muslim_Always
    May 28, 2015

    There should also be a law that curbs ridicule against abused victims in anyway. Abused victims must be protected and supported so that they can speak out instead of ‘coming out’ twenty years later.

    Secondly, more rigorous case studies and research should be done with pedophiles who are behind bars within a Caribbean context so that we can gain deeper knowledge of this complex criminal practice.

    Thirdly, it should be mandatory by law that abused victims go through extensive psychotherapy. When psychiatric treatment is not administered to this child the pattern of abuse continues. There has to be some kind of intervention practices.

    Let us work together as a society to address pedophilia once and for all.

    • May 30, 2015

      Muslim Always:

      You have expressed it well.

      Many agree that more care should be provided for the victim.

      (a) Psycho-therapy should be directed at breaking the cycle of abuse.

      (b) On-going counseling over an extended period of time should be aimed at helping avoid depression, alcoholism, and even suicide.

      We are aware here in Canada of cases of abuse by a homosexual pedophile that led to depression, alcoholism, and at least one one that eventually ended in suicide. I am assuming similar results could be produced by heterosexual pedophiles, and probably have been. I though I am not aware of such case histories.

      A review of the laws relating to sex crimes against children has been promised. The project will not be complete until a policy is in place to provide on-going counseling for the young victims under professional oversight.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

  12. Peter Potter
    May 28, 2015

    Good move, I support that a 100%.

  13. Justice
    May 28, 2015

    I agree. We need to protect our children.

  14. out of south city
    May 28, 2015

    I do agree because those who are aware of such behaviour and do not report them are also condoning such beastly behaviour.
    The laws for all other unseeming and inhumane behaviour should also be amended.

  15. May 28, 2015

    Finally!!! I mentioned this in an earlier post and received several thumbs down by (of course) UWP morons, but now the good Doctor is echoing my sentiments. It is NOT the wealthy and influential in Society that is responsible for the scourge of these hideous crimes. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the Parents, Friends and Relatives of the poor who continue to sweep these most grievous incidents under the rug in order to protect a loved one or in exchange for money. Trying to past the blame on to Government Officials or the wealthy and influential in Society is blatantly wrong. Wealthy individuals and highly respectful Government Officials do not commit these crimes.

  16. Cyrique
    May 28, 2015

    God has answered our prayers! Alleluia!!

  17. Justice
    May 28, 2015

    I agree. Punish them, we as a society need to protect our children. Mothers, need not to be afraid, speak up for our little ones.

  18. Shaka zulu
    May 28, 2015

    I am with you 100% there.

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