BY INGRID BROWN Associate editor — special assignment email@example.com
PRIME Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday used the platform of the People's National Party's (PNP) 75th annual conference to warn child molesters that more stringent measures will be coming to deal with them, even as she again appealed to communities to help in protecting the nation's children.
"I say to those of you who believe that you can just be worthless and prey on the little children, stop it (because) I have spoken to the minister of justice that we should craft legislation so that DNA can prove a rape or molestation so that no one can go free when they molest our children," Simpson Miller said as she made a passionate plea for Jamaica's children to be protected.
Noting that enough is enough, Simpson Miller said now that Jamaica is being led by a woman, strong action will be taken to protect the children against these predators .
"We cannot allow our children to be abused and at times murdered by these cruel, evil and wicked people," she told the packed audience of horn-blowing supporters inside the National Arena in Kingston.
She cited the recent case of a 15-year-old girl, who was raped and then viciously chopped by her father. That incident, she said, brought tears to the eyes of the women in the Cabinet.
"I want to appeal to those possessing evil, brutish minds; take your eyes of those little girls, those children," she urged.
She further appealed to parents to stay close to their children so they will know and be able to take action if they are being abused.
"How can anyone look at a child and hurt that child? The prime minister questioned.
Gone are the days, she noted, when communities would seek to look out for the well-being of children.
"I want to appeal to communities to look out for the children... as a child growing up I was protected by the adults and a child [older] was protective of me, so let us protect the future of our country," she told the PNP supporters.
She also spoke out against men who continue to prey on school girls.
She used the opportunity to commend parents who take care of their children and offer them all the love and care that they need. She also singled out for commendation young men who can be seen taking their children to school.
Last week the Child Development Agency (CDA) announced that it had increased the staff of its Investigation Unit to make it more effective at addressing incidents of child abuse.
The CDA said that unit now has a manager and 10 investigation officers deployed island-wide.
Most of the officers have been placed in the South East Region, which comprises Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and St Thomas.