Words, language critical in showing zero tolerance for child sexual abuse

Dear Editor,

The media plays an important role in how we address sexual abuse, especially abuse against children. The mismanagement at the Georgetown City Council of the sexual assault of a minor should not be a platform for jokes and entertainment.

The Guyana Chronicle told the story of the City Council’s mismanagement with a headline ‘Sex and the City’ in yesterday’s edition. Sex and the City was a TV show, lighthearted fun. Kaieteur News had a headline – ‘City cop accused of having sex with minor”.  The word “rape” describes the offence which is being investigated. Children under 16 years of age cannot consent to sex with an adult.  Words and language are critical if we want to show zero tolerance for child sexual abuse.

There are media reports that the City Cop has been reinstated at the Georgetown City Hall. The media has a role to play to find out from the Mayor and Town Clerk, after they have recovered from their jet lag, of what measures are in place to ensure that children would be protected from any city officials, including those with pending investigations them.

Yours faithfully,

Vidyaratha Kissoon

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