400 cases of child sex abuse so far this year
Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards addressing the gathering at the launch on Tuesday (Adrian Narine photo)
-new programme launched to train persons in forensic psychology
GUYANA has recorded 400 cases of sexual abuse against children in just three months, a figure which Resident UNICEF Representative, Sylvie Fouet says is alarming.
Fouet was at the time speaking at the launch of the Forensic Psychology and Sexual Offences Special Training Series which was coordinated by the Supreme Court, University of Guyana and UNICEF.
“The training will help court personnel to engage children who are abused, because it is not an easy task,” she said during the programme which was held at the Pegasus Hotel.
Fouet pointed out that that last year, the number of cases were over 1000. The UNICEF representative signaled the need for more to be done in order to address the scourge which has been plaguing society for years.
She believes that building capacity will help Guyana to find solutions, which will result in the reduction of those numbers and even the prevention of such cases.
A section of the gathering at the launch of the Forensic Psychology and Sexual Offences Special Training Series at the Pegasus Hotel (Adrian Narine photo)
As part of its contribution, UNICEF had assisted in the launching of the sexual offences court locally. In light of the recorded cases, UNICEF, in partnership with the court, will be expanding the services of the sexual offences court to Berbice and Essequibo.
The training will complement the initiative, because it would close the gap between service and treatment of not just children but women who have been abused.
Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards echoed similar sentiments, noting that the training is important, since insensitive treatment of victims can result in secondary trauma.
“The complexities of such cases required specialised training on the part of all involved…Persons engaged in working in this field also need debriefing exercises, because they, too, can suffer from secondary trauma,” Justice Cummings-Edwards said.
In light of that, she stressed the need for an intensive approach to training persons. This, she believes, will help them to respond better to such cases.
The aim of the training will be to reduce or eliminate secondary trauma, and adopt a coordinated approach with all stakeholders.
“This is another step in the right direction, because the programme will be offering training in molecular biology, psychology…” Justice Cummings-Edwards said.
According to Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Emmanuel Cummings, the programme will be delivered by some of the best in the business.
He said the training comprises eight modules, and will target prosecutors and investors. The training will basically be continued education in judiciary and forensic science.
- The University of Guyana