Rise Bahamas on the assault & death of 4 yr Old Girl
Nov 8, 2021 - 6:39:47 PM

It is with a heavy heart that Rise Bahamas has learned of the brutal assault and resulting death of a four year old girl.

Atrocities like this shed light on the inadequate preventative measures and laws we have in respect to child protection in The Bahamas.

Rise Bahamas has been primarily advocating for the full implementation of Marco's Law - which mandates a missing child alert and registry of convicted sex offenders. However, statistics show that sex offenders are often known to their child victims.

We need better ways to prevent, detect, and punish crimes against children. For many years The Bahamas Crisis Centre has been calling for the establishment of a separate sexual offenses court, to no avail. This court needs to be established immediately to deal with these issues expeditiously. There are a number of social development agencies and civil society groups helping to fill the gaps within our communities. These groups need to be an integral part of informing new legislation and initiatives. This is the only way to ensure efforts are not duplicated.

Nelson Mandela said, "Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation."

A concerned citizen stated that, "By next week this nation will go back to covering up and turning a blind eye to the rampant cases of child sexual abuse in this country. You know your child was touched and the abuser is STILL ALLOWED TO COME AROUND BECAUSE IT'S A RELATIVE!!! These children are suffering in silence born to heartless parents and growing up in an apathetic community."

From what we have witnessed in the past, they are correct. Bystander Intervention seems like a foreign concept in a society where we tend to turn a blind eye. Section 63. (1) of the Child Protection Act states that, “Every person who has information indicating that a child is suffering or has suffered significant harm, shall forthwith report that information to the Director”. (Social Services)

Anyone that wants to report child abuse can call child abuse hotlines at Child Protection Services (242) 397-2550, or Social Services National 24 hotline, toll free for Family Islands (242) 322-2763 or (242) 422-2763.

Organizations that support this statement include the Bahamas Crisis Centre, Families of All Murder Victims (FOAM), Organization for Responsible Government (ORG), Silent No More, Rights Bahamas and Smart & Strong Sisterhood (SASS).

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