The Minister made this disclosure as she laid the Children’s Authority’s Annual Report, for the period ending September 30, 2015, in the House of Representatives yesterday.
She explained that preliminary data from the report showed that between May 18 to September 30, 2015, “child abuse is an acute problem” in the country.
Webster-Roy said the of the 6,570 calls and reports which the Authority received from the public, “2,019 were cases in need of care and protection and required investigation.” She further stated that the data showed that the majority of children (46.3 percent) in need of care and protection were between the ages of ten and 15 while 22 percent were in the ten to 13 range and 21.6 percent of the children were in the 14 to 15 range.
San Juan/Laventille, Tunapuna/Piarco and Couva/Tabaquite/ Talparo returned higher numbers of reports of children being abused compared to other parts of the country. Webster-Roy stated, “ While there were various types of abuse to children reported, almost a quarter (22.5 percent) of all reports were allegations of sexual abuse against children.” She identified the establishment of an emergency response team; the establishment of an investigations unit and the establishment of assessment centres in north and south Trinidad for the medical and other treatment plans for children in need of care and protection, as some of the immediate measures taken by the Authority to address this situation.