Two youth leaders have expressed concern over the state of the nation’s youth after an explicit video involving local teenage girls surfaced on the internet recently.
Youth activist, Delroy Williams, believes enough is not being done to teach the youth about sex while CARICOM Ambassador, Natasha Jervier, is worried over some of the activities young people are getting involved in.
“Parents should be willing enough and open enough to ‘discuss’ sex and sexuality with their children,” Williams told Dominica News Online. “And I put discuss in inverted commas because a lot of what we think is discussion in Caribbean families is actually a shouting, blaming game,” he said.
He urged society to look at the need to address sex and sexuality in more palatable ways so that the message is driven and form part of the knowledge, attitudes and practice of the population.
He also questioned the moral and ethical values being taught to children.
When asked about the video itself, Williams said the young girls in it were clearly taken advantage of and were “victims of their own naivety and eagerness to please.”
Williams said as a society, Dominica should look into ways of curbing juvenile crime, “identify warning signs and create help-desks for people who have been victims or even perpetrators of such crimes.”
Meanwhile Natasha Jervier is worried about some of the activities that young people are getting involved in.
Jervier stated that young people are influenced by some adults who do not set the right example and most of them are taken advantage of. She noted that adults have a responsibility to protect the youth since they are the future leaders.
“I agree with Mrs. (Delia) Weekes when she said that the age of consent needs to change because at 16 you cannot do anything that an adult can such as vote and get a license which means that at that age you are not mature enough to take certain decisions especially to give consent to sex,” she told Dominica News Online.
Jervier continued, “Even at that age, a 16-year-old may not be able to handle the responsibilities that come with being sexually active so it should be changed to a more mature age when they can consciously make more mature decisions.”
She called on parents to educate their children and provide good examples for them.
She added that young people themselves should stand against illegal actions and provide support to their peers.