JAMAICA – Scores of Jamaican children bearing the scars of brutal beatings

KINGSTON – The cruel and inhumane treatment meted out to some of Jamaica’s children was brought into sharp focus recently when a video went viral of a St Thomas mother beating her child with a machete.

But a Sunday Gleaner probe into the dark side of parenting in Jamaica has revealed that the action of the nearly naked machete wielder pales in comparison to the punishment some children are forced to endure from the persons who are supposed to protect them.

Children, some as young as six months old, have been burnt with hot irons, chopped with knives or machetes, soaked with boiling water, beaten to within inches of their lives with electrical cords.

The Sunday Gleaner findings were confirmed by the Child Development Agency (CDA), which identified mothers as the main perpetrators of the dastardly acts.

According to the CDA, it is extremely concerned about the level of physical abuse being meted out to our children and the types of implements being used.

“From January to September of this year, our Investigations Unit received 10,267 cases. While in 2016, the unit received 12,804. Of the number of cases received since the start of 2017, there is an increase in physical abuse,” Rosalee Gage-Grey, chief executive officer for the CDA, told .The Sunday Gleaner

“According to (OCR) Office of the Children’s Registry 2015 Statistics, 3,639 children were reported as being physically abused, an increase from 3,214 in the previous year.

“Based on reports received by the CDA’s Investigations Unit during the period 2016-2017, there is an overall increase which is at alarming levels,” added Gage-Grey, as she argued that with just over two months before 2017 ends the numbers are set to surpass those for last year.

The CDA head said when her investigators visit the scenes of abuse, they are dismayed, having seen the types of scars on the bodies of children.

“Guided by the Physical Abuse Chart, we are able to identify what type of implement is used to cause injury to a child,” said Gage-Grey.

“We have seen pictures of babies with scars on every inch of their skin, cuts on faces, arms, legs, and this is not right,” Gage-Grey added, as she declared that the CDA is determined to see the perpetrators of these acts brought to justice.

According to the CDA, children are beaten for not acting on commands quickly enough, purchasing the wrong items when sent to the shop by parents, for not doing homework and for being too noisy.

In other cases, the reasons for the punishment are more clandestine and repulsive.

“There are also the social issues such as the single-parent struggles. Some parents may be going through financial or emotional issues where one parent may have left the home and so they are taking it out on the child,” explained Rochelle Dixon, public relations and communications manager at the CDA.

She said CDA investigators, who are tasked with removing the children from these abusive homes, find themselves deeply traumatized in some cases.

In the meantime, Dr Patrece Charles, counselling psychologist and CEO of the Phoenix Counselling Centre in Kingston, said social media is helping to peel back the shrouds of a culturally accepted practice in Jamaica.

“There is a culture of corporal punishment in Jamaica, [people say] ‘me granny did it, my grandparents did it and I am OK’. We are not taking into consideration that the things children are exposed to now are very different from then,” she said.

“A lot of the parents who abuse their children are also victims of abuse; either in their current relationships, past relationships or abused while they were children,” said Charles.

“The cycle of abuse they are exposing their children to was taught. They don’t know any other way to discipline or manage their emotions,” she added.

Dr Beverley Scott, child and family therapist at the Family and Parenting Centre in Montego Bay, said many Jamaicans who quickly praise being beaten and brandish scars from their parents as life lessons may be suffering serious psychological trauma.

“It can’t make them better. Maybe they have survived and are living now, but these children have come out with scars. They have come out with a certain kind of personality,” said Scott.

“They are hardened people because of how their parents treat them, and so they don’t care to die, because it is just one life. How they feel about life doesn’t matter. They have gone through it with their parents, and so if anything happens, they are not afraid to die, and they don’t care if someone is hurt or if they are hurt themselves,” added Scott.

That is a concern shared by the CDA. “Research over the last two decades confirms that children carry the effects of childhood experiences into adulthood. The challenges they face in school, life and ultimately the state of their health are often the symptoms of toxic stress.

“Toxic stress, unlike manageable stress, refers to the long-term changes in brain architecture and organ systems that develop after extreme, prolonged and repeated stress goes untreated. Exposure to (these) may put our children at higher risk of learning difficulties, emotional problems, developmental issues and long-term health problems,” said the CDA.

Source: (Jamaica Gleaner)

40 Responses to JAMAICA – Scores of Jamaican children bearing the scars of brutal beatings

  1. John Nicholls
    John Nicholls October 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    How could any parent be happy inflicting this excessive punishment on their child? And leaving them for life with these marks? That patent needs a mental check!

  2. Paulette Callender
    Paulette Callender October 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    This is so wrong

  3. Consuelo N Richards
    Consuelo N Richards October 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Yet I see many promoting beating. This has to stop as beating in any form is abuse!

  4. Taurus Bull
    Taurus Bull October 16, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Any woman/mother that can do such a thing to a child should have their ovaries removed with immediate effect, str888 talk. Any man/father capable of causing such bodily to a child of that tender age should be castrated with immediate effect, str888 like Spartacus Sword.

  5. Patricia Taitt
    Patricia Taitt October 16, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    That’s terrible.

  6. Patricia Taitt
    Patricia Taitt October 16, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    No they end up beating their partners and children the same way they were beaten. It’s a vicious cycle.

  7. Alexia Marshall
    Alexia Marshall October 16, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    He’s a baby

  8. Marva King
    Marva King October 16, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Absolutely shocking

  9. Rachola Trotman
    Rachola Trotman October 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Bare lies! You see this kinda violent,intense,cruel behaviour here, is exactly how MASSA use to brutalise our ancestors.I do NOT believe that any beating of this nature or any nature for that matter can bring discipline and/order in a child or anyone’s life….Bare fire rage,bitterness and resentment that’s all.

  10. Arrundell Franklyn
    Arrundell Franklyn October 16, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Those people are very ignorant and wicked.

  11. Demetrio Moore
    Demetrio Moore October 16, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    That baby get beat worse than a runaway slave

  12. Everton Kennedy
    Everton Kennedy October 16, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Then explain to me why ,in my days when our parents could not make no hand with us , the often took us to the police station for some cane,in other words lashes from the thin stick the police had,and we heard that most sometimes six,and on the bare backside

  13. Diane Quinn
    Diane Quinn October 16, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Poor little child cruelty

  14. Thunder October 16, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    This article was so painful to read, the abuse of children should never be tolerated, but it is obvious, there needs to be a support system for single parents,as well as the abused,because when these children become hard because of abuse,society will feel the effectsof how they have been abused.
    Let us all work together to see that the abuse of children is eradicated where ever the abuse is found,no one can raise a child alone,it takes a village to raise a child.

  15. Michael Crichlow
    Michael Crichlow October 16, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Don’t confuse child abuse with disciplinary protocol…

    • Bev Clarke
      Bev Clarke October 16, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      What? Do I misunderstand the above statement?

    • Michael Crichlow
      Michael Crichlow October 16, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Bev Clarke this display of brutality i don’t condone …i was strap at home and in school and bear no scars ..this is just horrible discipline gone wrong

  16. Dorrel Haynes
    Dorrel Haynes October 16, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    If this is happening, it is totally unacceptable. This type of punishment harks back to slavery.!!!!

  17. Harriette Carrington
    Harriette Carrington October 16, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    That article was reprinted from a Jamaican newspaper.

  18. Pbdos Ciana Price
    Pbdos Ciana Price October 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Barbados did not write the story or did they go to Jamaica and do the research. I’m sure this story came out of JA and I don’t like when wrong is done and people respond with “oh, but you do it too”

  19. Bev Clarke
    Bev Clarke October 16, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    many Jamaicans who quickly praise being beaten and brandish scars from their parents as life lessons may be suffering serious psychological trauma……. that is the root of the problem. Those poor babies! How can you treat poor little innocent children this way? These children will also do the same thing to their children. It is one vicious circle that has to be brought to an end!!

  20. Pbdos Ciana Price
    Pbdos Ciana Price October 16, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Lot of carribean people still have the slave mentally. I hear stories from older people when they was growing up, got it worse back then. I pray for change

  21. Pbdos Ciana Price
    Pbdos Ciana Price October 16, 2017 at 7:34 pm


  22. Marcia Applewhaite
    Marcia Applewhaite October 16, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    None of you answered the question.We do not kill children in Barbados.2 that level of abuse does not happen here.

  23. Deborah Bennett
    Deborah Bennett October 16, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Please note that this was shared from a Jamaican news site and not written
    by a Bajan.

  24. Glenroy Gaskin Green
    Glenroy Gaskin Green October 16, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Look,I am sorry anyone who agrees with this type of behavior towards children,needs to be treated just the same. This is ridiculous.

  25. Pbdos Ciana Price
    Pbdos Ciana Price October 16, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    No Ren Marcia, you jump to conclusions before reading the story and now your trying to fix it. You assume Bdos was calling out JA. Lots of stories from all over the carribean good and bad are in the Bdos newspaper

  26. Barker Antony
    Barker Antony October 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    And beating with a cutlass is normal!!!!

  27. Sherlene Phillips
    Sherlene Phillips October 16, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Oh dear..so sad..that is abuse…but discipline should be done differently and not in anger.

  28. Anton Brown
    Anton Brown October 16, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Mother needs to be lock the hell you… now you see why so many Jamaicans are naturally aggressive. Sorry not every woman is a lady and not every woman should have children. Ppl have to be careful who them have children with, can’t be having kids with everybody

  29. Maureen Sho
    Maureen Sho October 16, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    In Barbados as well. Pots and kettles.

  30. Mazie Taylor
    Mazie Taylor October 16, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    They should be punished for the abuse of the children.

  31. Odessa Johnson
    Odessa Johnson October 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Cheese on bread man….

  32. Wavney Rouse
    Wavney Rouse October 16, 2017 at 8:24 pm


  33. Lesley Quashie Frank
    Lesley Quashie Frank October 16, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Am wondering ,is it frustration causing the beating

  34. Andria GoodHeart
    Andria GoodHeart October 16, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Some parents too violent, simple !!!

  35. Valerie Hoyte
    Valerie Hoyte October 16, 2017 at 8:46 pm


  36. Debra King-Gittens
    Debra King-Gittens October 16, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Omg, my heart breaks

  37. Kim Stone
    Kim Stone October 16, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    My GOD


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