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200 sex crimes in 3 months

By JANELLE DE SOUZA Thursday, May 22 2014

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Gender workshop: Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Clifton De Coteau, left, Permanent Secretary Sandra Jones and Allison Ali, manager of...
Gender workshop: Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development Clifton De Coteau, left, Permanent Secretary Sandra Jones and Allison Ali, manager of...

GENDER, Youth and Child Development Minister Clifton De Coteau yesterday said the Police Service’s Victims and Witness Support Unit recorded over 200 reports of incest, rape and sexual abuse over a three-month period in just one area of the country.

Speaking to stakeholders at the opening of the Critical Incident Response Workshop at the Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain, De Coteau said from May 2013 to March of this year, the Ministry’s National Family Services Division recorded over 9,000 interventions.

These include 2,951 advice sessions, 4,973 counselling sessions, 407 referrals to other service delivery agencies and 55 critical incidents investigated on topics involving child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, financial issues, family dysfunction, marital discord and inadequate parenting.

“These cases were addressed and will continue to receive the attention that is required for the transition from victims to fully rehabilitated citizens,” he said, noting that critical incidents could overwhelm a person’s coping mechanisms, creating the need for external intervention.

“Critical Incident Stress Management is a proven, chosen and recommended method of crisis intervention that can provide services at a variety of levels following a crisis,” he said. Therefore, stakeholders, including members of the Police Service and Social Service Agencies, yesterday took part in a consultation and brainstorming session to assess and determine what services would be best in which situation, and how to respond to these specific critical incidents within a 24-hour period.

“As workers on the ground, executing your duties within the communities, you are well poised to provide the salient information to craft the required protocols for the National Critical Incident Response which would be implemented by responding Agencies within the social service sector,” said De Coteau.

The result of the workshop would assist in developing and implementing a networking system to facilitate efficient response to Critical Incidents.

The minister in revealing that there had been 200 sex crimes including rape and incest in three months in a specific area, did not identify the area where these crimes had been committed.

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