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‘Report all cases of child abuse’

News day / Toussaint said it is the association’s hope to work with the ministries of Education and Health, to create safe spaces for children so they can feel comfortable to make reports of abuse.

Speaking at a child abuse seminar for nurses and teachers hosted by the Children’s Authority and Child Protection Unit Child at the Central bank Auditorium in Port-of-Spain, he asked, “Are there any rooms in the schools that children can comfortably go into to report child abuse? “It appears our frame work does not protect our children.

It appears that the courts cannot protect our children. Too much bureaucracy, too much red tape, too much money going in lawyers’ pockets and our children are being neglected,” Toussaint continued.

He reminded the audience that it was mandatory for teachers and nurses to make reports of child abuse to the police, the Children’s Authority and Child Protection Unit, but wondered whether or not in some cases, this is done. He said the seminar is aimed at making nurses and teachers understand they are key stakeholders in protecting the nation’s youth and nurturing them.

“We are hoping that after you have been sensitized to the need for safe spaces for children to make such reports and also to the fact yours is a critical role, you nurses and teachers will be confident enough to report any abuse toward a child to the relevant authorities.

It is my hope we can raise enough funds to create these safe spaces so children can feel comfortable to report abuse.” He also suggested a drop box at schools so children can actually write on their abuse and put it in for teachers to read and act accordingly.

He said working within the Eastern Region where a large percentage of all reported cases of child abuse comes from, has motivated the association to play a more proactive role in order to make a difference.

Toussaint said child abuse is a global issue whose impact runs deep into the cultural, economic and psychological well-being of all societies.

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