Record child sex abusers
Child sexual abuse in Barbados continues to be a serious problem in our society and a major public concern. It is wrong; it violates the rights of the child in every aspect;
and it is a form of exploitation in every manner. This abuse is very serious because it could expose children to HIV/AIDS infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.
One way of creating a safe and harmonious environment for children is by ensuring that sex offenders are registered in Barbados. We need a Sex Offender Registration And Monitoring Act in place immediately. In doing this, all Barbadians could contribute to protecting children and creating a better society.
Efficient and effective record keeping and monitoring of these perpetrators could save children from this traumatic ordeal. Keep in mind that sex offender behaviours are extremely resistant to change and therefore the emphasis should be on both punishment and control.
Registration of sex offenders has worked in several communities all over the world. It has deterred offenders from committing future crimes, provided law enforcement with an additional investigative tool to help bring perpetrators to justice and, at large, increased public protection and awareness. It has helped parents to be on the alert for these perpetrators and remove their child/children if necessary.
Stakeholders and policymakers need to be proactive in this regard because sex offenders tend to reoffend once given the right and appropriate environment. These offenders are suffering from a psychological dysfunction and this does not disappear overnight.
My concern is for the child who is labelled, stigmatized, exploited, emotionally and psychologically damaged as a result of this criminal conduct.
There is no cure for sexual offenders; therefore, they will continue to abuse children once given the appropriate opportunity. What we must focus on is to reduce the number of incidences of sexual offending.
–– RENNETTE M. DIMMOTT, Forensic psychologist.