Letters to the Editor

Teetering on the edge

Monday, February 24, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

I use your February 16, 2014 article 'Tired of being raped' as a platform to highlight my displeasure at a few observations within the wider Jamaican society. The first issue is that these places of safety have proven not to be so safe at all. By definition safety implies freedom from harm or danger. The fact that such atrocities of verbal, sexual and other physical abuses have occurred in a place airmarked for the safety of minors is a travesty.

Moreover, such an occurrence further highlights the abyss of violence and abuse that exists within our society that has so scarred our children that they become perpetrators of violent acts.

The second issue is that the physical abuse of the young man is a criminal offence. How then will the State deal with these acts? My suggestion is that the State applies the principle of restorative justice in bringing healing to the victim and offering a system that reforms then reintegrates the offender(s) into the environment.

In the absence of this, we will have young men who grow to become a burden on State resources through recidivism. The sad reality is that we are raising a society of broken and violent children.

Another horrific story of an attempted murder committed by three young men, whose average age is 17 years, against another is evidence of a society teetering on the edge of ruin.

I believe this young man's experience is just the tip of the metaphoric iceberg. There are many others like him who manifest in many forms; some as squeegee boys, others as sellers of bag juice, even sex workers. It is incumbent on our Government to provide a safe environment for the wards to reside that this will not be there end. At the same time, it is also incumbent that parents adequately plan for and provide wholesome environments for their children so that they will not be abusers, neither will they be abused.

Wendy Simpson

ocsa.wendy@hotmail.com

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