High Court Judge Justice Errol Thomas has described sexual abuse as a growing epidemic which infringe on the basic rights of children.
He made that statement at the close of the 2015 January criminal assizes at the High Court in Roseau earlier this week.
According to Thomas, it is no longer “life as usual for your children and children on a whole.”
“For your own sake and the sake of Dominica you have to be vigilant, regardless,” he said.
According to him quite often the culprits of sexual abuse are people the children know.
He further stated that there are predators out there looking for children.
“Gone are the days when you could send the child down the road by himself or herself to run an errand, on the other side or on the corner,” he said. “There are predators looking since they want them young. And please remember the younger the child is, the more innocent and vulnerable they are and likely to be…”
He stated tht parents should be on the look out for gifts being received by their children, especially cell phones for teenagers.
He said, also, even when the cell phones are given to teachers by parents, the times and frequency of calls should be monitored.
Meantime Justice Thomas urged Dominicans to generate a national debate on the issue of child abuse because the statistics stand out when the population is small.
“The welfare department must be applauded for their efforts to highlight the matter of the abuse of children aired on television which points directly at abuse,” he noted. “But let me say immediately to you that child abuse is everywhere, not just Dominica but when you have a small population the statistics stand out…”