Let's protect our children

Friday, October 05, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

I write to express my disgust and outrage at the high level of abuse against women and children that was reported in the media recently. It is often said that our children are our future, but if we continue to abuse them physically, emotionally, mentally and sexually, then what kind of future do we expect to have as a society?

It was disheartening to read about the two little boys who were allegedly kidnapped, raped and then thrown into a river resulting in their death. It broke my heart to know that there are people in our society who are so crude, wicked and heartless. I grieve with the families of these two little boys and I call upon the justice system of this country to work indefatigably, assiduously and tirelessly to apprehend those responsible for such a brutish and cruel act.

I cannot fathom how anyone in their right mind could look at these two innocent little boys and violate their scared bodies in such a manner. It speaks to the fact that as a society we have lost our way. What has happened to the idea of protecting and caring for our children?

I strongly believe in the saying that "it takes a village to raise a child." Therefore, I will do my part to ensure that the future lawyers, doctors, nurses, farmers, teachers, soldiers, policemen and women running up and down the streets enjoying a nice game of football or cricket will not have to worry about being kidnapped, raped, abused, and violated. I call upon every citizen in this country to accept it as their duty and responsibility to protect and fight for the rights of our children.

Let us use the different media to spread our message of protection and to let the few bad apples amongst know that as a people, we will not tolerate or adhere to their devious, despicable and disgraceful conduct.

As a society, we should not allow these monsters to rob our little ones of their laughter. We must fight with the resilience that is known of the Jamaican people. We must fight to protect our children and we must fight to ensure that our children can live in a society where they will feel safe and loved.

I would like to see our academic institutions being more vocal. I call upon the students of Mico, UWI, Utech and NCU to be more visible and to the lead the way. Let our voices be heard, let us channel the path forward. As young academics, we fail to recognise the enormous amount of power that we possess and we tend to react only when a situation affronts us.

We are technologically savvy; let us use Facebook and Twitter and the various social network mechanisms to spread our message and to create a revolution within our society.

It is time for us to start looking at prevention instead of curing. My mother would always say that "prevention is better than cure." Instead of waiting until another child has been raped or abducted to plan a protest and wear all black, let us start right now.

Let us start by encouraging our young men to be responsible and to work hard to achieve success. Let us start by reminding the fathers within our society that they need to be present in their child's life; let us start by promoting an acceptance of wholesome values and moral principles. Let us start by promoting equality and justice for all. Let us start by going back to a society where men wore their pants at the waist and where they were not afraid to stand up and protect their families. A society where the family was the fabric that held the society together. In essence let us start by going back to the basics.

I conclude with the borrowed words of the popular Whitney Houston song The Greatest Love of All, " I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride to make it easier, let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be."

Let us not wait for another Khajeel to happen or another Ananda or another Adrain or Alex ... Let's act now and put an end to such barbaric, malevolent, malicious, and cruel acts against our children.

Andre Johnson

Law student






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