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Call to help mothers who abuse children

Tuesday, March 8 2016

DIRECTOR of the Children’s Authority, Sharifa Ali-Abdullah, has called for “appropriate and urgent interventions” to help women who have “very little or no support,” and who have been identified as the main perpetrators of abuse against children .

Her call followed the recent release of the authority’s Statistical Bulletin — Nine Months and Counting, which shows a recurring trend that women, mothers in particular, continue to be identified as the main perpetrators of abuse against children .

A release from the authority quoted Ali-Abdullah as saying immediate attention was required as the abuse was symptomatic of the stresses that women were experiencing in managing households .

“It is important to take stock of this issue and to understand the stressors and the contributing factors, to stem this disturbing trend,” she said .

Ali-Abdullah noted that “of the persons identified by callers as the alleged perpetrator of physical abuse, 40 percent of those were the child’s mother.” She appealed to women’s organisations, in particular, to consider interventions among their priority issues, and partner with the State to provide interventions aimed at reducing the high incidence of abuse in TT .

The authority, she said, “will champion informed decision- making, and is hopeful that policymakers and other State and non-State actors will use these statistics to inform their interventions.” Making the call on the occasion of International Women’s Day, being observed today, she quoted United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s message that “women’s empowerment leads to society’s advancement.”

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