Beatings, sexual abuse of mentally challenged teen angers villagers

August 10, 2011 | By | Filed Under News 

The violent beatings and alleged sexual abuse of a mentally challenged 18-year-old girl has angered a Berbice village with residents calling for authorities to ensure that she is protected.
Back in March, neighbours used a cell-phone to record her injuries. The video captured graphic details of shackles and a block of wood that her grandmother and another relative used to immobilize her while savagely inflicting blows.
Officers of the government’s Social Services have since taken custody of the girl and handed her over to a neighbour until a decision is made on her future.
The incidents all reportedly took place in the Number 77 Housing Scheme, Corriverton, East Berbice.
According to one resident, the teenager was living with her grandmother since her parents who lived on the East Bank of Demerara were unable to care for her. Over the years, the teenager was subjected to regular beatings.
“This girl is not fully right and the beatings would only make her worse.’
Last year, neighbours learnt that the girl was raped by a visitor to her grandmother’s home. She was taken to the Springlands Police Station and a medical was also done. However, police said that based on investigation the teenager had apparently consented to the sex.
“How could this girl consent to sex when she is not fully in control of herself? She is not a normal child,” one neighbour said.
The girl later disclosed that she was also sexually abused by a close relative living at her home.
Nothing much happened until March 26th when neighbours heard her screams.
Her grandmother was reportedly seen beating her savagely. The teenager’s legs were shackled with chains and a padlock and attached to a large block of wood. Another relative was holding her during the beating.
Neighbours tried to intervene and warned the couple to stop. Eventually, one neighbour ripped out a piece of his fence and the girl managed to escape into the clutches of several angry persons who had gathered.
She was taken to the Springlands Police Station where ranks were forced to cut the chains and padlock off her legs.
Two days later, officials of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security took control of her and placed her in the care of a neighbour.
According to Munroe, the grandmother disappeared after the incident for three months.
“Now she is back and harassing the neighbours. She has brought some woman who said she is from a ministry, but we are now being harassed. Everyday, the grandmother complains to police about neighbours. We are concerned more about the fate of this little girl.”
Villagers also called for the authorities to properly investigate the situation to urgently find solutions.
Yesterday, officials of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security confirmed that they are aware of the situation, but a senior official authorized to speak was not available to give details.

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