Officers from the Child Care and Protection Agency (CC&PA) yesterday found an 11-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped and impregnated by her father.
Up to late yesterday afternoon, police were questioning the pregnant child and her mother, who belong to a community along the Linden/Soesdyke Highway. The girl’s father reportedly committed suicide last December.
A source close to the case told Stabroek News that the agency received a tip off through its hotline over the weekend, with information about the girl’s case. The CC&PA, when contacted, confirmed that it was investigating such a case.
Officers yesterday went to the community and found the visibly-pregnant child, who was being kept away from school while awaiting her Grade Six examination results for placement at a secondary school. The source said that it is being claimed that the child was impregnated some time late last year. Her mother, during questioning, denied knowing about the pregnancy. However, the source said that her claim is impossible and she should face charges for her culpability in the case.
The child reportedly told CC&PA officials that her father raped her twice. She said her father warned her not to say anything and threatened to harm her if she did. Even after his death, she still said nothing and she reportedly told officials that she was still very scared.
“Dead men tell no tales,” the source told Stabroek News, explaining that any allegation could be made against the dead man. Steps are being taken to ensure that the child joins a clinic to ensure that she and her unborn baby are in good health for the remainder of her pregnancy.
The child’s situation has been described as “sickening” and comes on the heels of three other reported cases so far for this year. One social worker blamed this situation on the erosion of “societal and family values,” saying one has to look at what is happening in society and in the home, where it appears that persons think very little about others.
According to the social worker, there are lots of cases of pregnant children. “There are lots more. This is just the tip of the iceberg,” the social worker said, while noting that the majority were cases of incest involving fathers and stepfathers.
This newspaper was told that in order to effectively combat the situation, there is a need to raise more awareness. “It is the adults’ responsibility to keep a child safe,” the social worker said, adding that raising awareness is not an easy task as lot of child abuse is occurring behind “closed doors.”
According to Guyana’s laws, 16 is the age of consent and sexual intercourse with girls below that age is classified as rape.
Two weeks ago, a 12-year-old, who was raped by her stepfather, gave birth to a healthy baby via Caesarean Section at the Georgetown Hospital. The stepfather is currently a prisoner on remand, after being charged with rape.
In January, a 13-year-old had to be air-dashed to the city after she developed complications while giving birth at the Port Kaituma Hospital, in Region One. Around the same time, a 14-year-old from the same area was also air-dashed to the city and she gave birth to her baby. It is unclear if the perpetrators in those two cases have been identified and arrested.