Child victims of violence remembered

Sunday, June 02, 2013

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Jamaicans on Friday, remembered children who have been victims of violence at a wreath laying ceremony held at the Secret Gardens downtown Kingston.

Hundreds of children and adults participated in the ceremony held in recognition of Child’s Month, to publicly decry child abuse and neglect in Jamaica.

Councillor for the Whitfield Town Division, Eugene Kelly, who addressed the function, encouraged parents to protect their children from all forms of physical, mental and sexual abuse.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our children. There (are) a number of children who (have) died under tragic circumstances and they could have been saved if a conscientious neighbour, who, on hearing the abuse of the child, would have reported this to the children’s registry or the police,” said Kelly.

He told children that they also had a role to play in stopping child abuse, by reporting any suspected abuse to a responsible adult.

“It is everybody’s responsibility. Children, if (you) know of an abuse on a friend you need to report to an adult. The adults need to be made aware of the law that actually demands that upon knowledge of child abuse that you are obligated to report it to the authorities,” he said.

The Secret Gardens, located at the intersection of Church and Tower streets, was constructed in 2008 and opened to the public on November 20. It is a project of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC), with support from Corporate Jamaica.

A monument, designed by sculptor, Paul Napier, sits in the centre of the garden, which bears the names of approximately 450 of Jamaica's children, who have been the victims of crime and violence.

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