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Children’s Authority concerned over rape

By Darcel Choy Saturday, April 2 2016

DIRECTOR of the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Shariffa Ali- Abdullah says the Authority’s emergency team would have been activated for the 13-yearold girl who, on Thursday last, reported to police at the Rio Claro Police Station that she was raped by her HIV positive stepfather when she was just eight years old. Speaking with reporters yesterday after the launch of the Fair Play Training of Trainers Workshop, at the Office of the Prime Minister (Gender and Child Affairs), International Waterfront Complex, Port-of-Spain, Ali-Abdullah explained that once a report comes to the Authority’s attention, the child will be assessed by their team of professionals including psychologists, medical doctors and social workers, and a treatment plan is developed for the child. “Our immediate concern is whether the child is safe, if the child is still in imminent danger, if the alleged perpetrator is still around.

she said. “If the child is imminent danger then we need to find a safe place for that child whether it is with a family member, or whether it is in a place of safety or in a foster care environment or in a children’s home. Our first concern is the safety of the child and then caring for that child.” She expressed concern with the way the reports of child abuse are carried out in the media.

“We are a very small society and sometimes even without giving the name of a child but by saying where the child goes to school or the area or the perpetrator, it is enough information to place that child in further danger,” Ali-Abdullah said.

She added that the Authority will host a training workshop for media professionals on May 5.



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