Here is what happens in Jamaica when you report a rape

[Scroll down for video]

Many girls (and boys) find themselves in cycles of sexual abuse. It is a horrendous rite of passage for many young persons in Jamaica. Some of the people we know, even our friends, might be fighting personal battles they feel unable to speak about.

Child victims of abuse grow into adults, bearing the abominable consequences of harm. They are, throughout their lives, reminded by triggers of the abuse they experienced, often at the hands of adults responsible for protecting them.

Statistics from the Office of the Children’s Registry suggest that only one adult in ten reports child abuse brought to his or her attention. The 9 in 10 who make no report reflect the pernicious Jamaican culture of silence.

My involvement in the justice system as a criminal law practitioner gives me some familiarity with some harsh Jamaican realities for children. I am currently away from Jamaica wrapping up studies in the UK, but a recent discussion on Twitter about rape in Jamaica propelled me to offer the following perspective through a series of tweets.


Note from UNICEF: As horrific as this experience is for an adult, can you imagine what it feels like for a child?

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  1. I was reading this earlier and I burst into tears, because this almost the same sequence my case took…

  2. Wow alI really miss working with you Anty Joy advocay and been an avtivist and counsellor among other things has educate me in more ways than one seeing this video just bring back how horrific it is when ur rape and hurting.Congrays to all.he young ladies their partners,children and families who are in the program

  3. I am a victim… Reported the trauma almost a year ago, coming May 3rd 2018, a been through the initial procedure, and waiting. Thank God I’ve been spared having to go through ‘having to turn up at court, only for it to be put off again and again’. I recognised this purely His doing. I was feeling timid and discouraged in the initial stages, but have grown in confidence and strength with time and the acknowledgement my value in the eye of Christ. He has become my strength, lawyer and the Father, my Judge. Take courage, u r a Victor not a victim. This too shall pass.

  4. The process is truly tedious, but until there are reforms victims need to be strong in order to effectively put away offenders.

  5. This is certainly, exactly how it goes! It’s a crying shame! It’s like the law gives these monsters the authority to go and rape again and again! I wonder if the same ones they defend should go back and do the same thing to their daughter, mother or sister and do the same brutal act if their defense would be the same? The end all of this madness they need to bring back the galas (hanging) Trust me rape statistics would be on a all time LOW!! They would think twice or thrice before doing the act!!!