Having sex with a person under 16 is a criminal offence, Children's Advocate remindsTuesday, May 11, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison says the killing of 14-year-old Danesha Cooper, a student of Johnathan Grant High School in St Catherine during Child Month by her alleged 21-year-old boyfriend is “a stark reminder of those who continue to prey upon our children”.
Cooper died on Monday, May 10 after being allegedly stabbed several times.
In a statement today, Gordon Harrison reminded the public that “having sex with a person under 16 remains a criminal offence in Jamaica”.
“Why then did this situation get to this?” the children's advocate questioned.
While expressing deep concern about the incident, Gordon Harrison said, “Some of our teens continue to get into relationships that they are not emotionally equipped to navigate and quite frankly have no business being involved in these situations. The power dynamic is too much and when you have an adult who feels that this child should only speak to them, problems arise and quarrels can take an extreme turn for the worse.”
She added that the painful loss “has also occurred mere days ahead of the launch of a national child helpline for children and teens who may be suffering from a myriad of emotional issues, through a partnership of the Office of the Children's Advocate (OCA), the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and UNICEF”.
The Office of The Children's Advocate further reminded adults that anyone under the age of 18 years old is still considered to be a child and all responsible adults must join in the protection of our children.
The organisation said no adult ought to engage in sexual intercourse with any child and stressed the need to set the precedent for how children are to be cared for and protected.
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