Assistant Chief Welfare Officer Oliver Wallace has raised concerns over the statistics of child sexual abuse in Dominica.
Wallace, who is also a pastor, said at a rally against child abuse at the Peebles Park on Saturday, it is a matter that must be addressed now.
“You look at our youngsters today in the juvenile court in any given year, there are approximately 295 cases being brought before the juvenile court …” he said. “Our young boys, teenagers, young girls, primarily between ages of 14 and under 18, are grossly affected physiologically, mentally because of gross abuse that have taken place.. We need to do something to help alleviate the problems. There is something that you can do, there is something that I can do.”
Pastor Wallace said the nation must be mindful of the increasing number of child abuse.
He said between 2010 and 2015, there were over 900 cases of child abuse recorded in Dominica, with 80 percent falling under the category of child sex abuse.
He indicated that research has shown very clearly that one of the leading causes of adult mental illness is the result of child sexual abuse.
“It means that we are going down a road that we need to be mindful of if that is what we are going to inherit if that is going to be our heritage down the line…we need to stand up,” he said. “We need to address the issue right now.”
Pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church (TBC) Randy Rodney said the church must rise and be cool but “deadly” against child abuse.
“The world must know that we ain’t taking crap…they must know that we stand where we stand and we ain’t moving,” he remarked.
According to him the church must be a voice for the voiceless.
“A girl and a boy that is 16 years and less is a voiceless person…the law says they cannot make a decision for themselves,” Rodney remarked.
Rodney said the church must be like Moses in Egypt.
“The church must represent God in the presence of the local government,” he explained. “The church must give the government direction…the church must represent God in the land.”