Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

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Concern about underreporting of statutory rape

April 2nd, 2022

Child Rights defender Faith Marshall-Harris is concerned with the level of underreporting of incidents of statutory rape occurring in Barbados, which in some instances leads to pregnancy.

According to a statement from the Child Care Board, of the 476 cases of reported child abuse in 2020, 106 were for sexual abuse. Last year reported cases stood at 489 and 115, related to sexual abuse.

Ms. Marshall-Harris says she’s alarmed by the number of young girls who are pregnant.

She has founded a helpline where instances of child abuse can be reported, and says some people contact the helpline but back out or withhold information when attempts are made to get the authorities involved.

She’s also concerned about delays with cases before the court.

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