Our Children are crying. Is anyone listening?
Monique’s helping Hands Support Centre has had the opportunity to work with a large population of vulnerable children in Guyana. We see violence against children as a serious public health issue in as it is lack of proper water; therefore it is important to start the discourse around the future of our most precious human capital “Our Children”.
It is noted in much research that violence against infants and younger children is a major risk factor for psychiatric disorders and suicide, and has lifelong sequelae including depression, anxiety disorders, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, aggression and violence towards others, risky sexual behaviors and post traumatic stress disorders all of which we have seen in some degree over the most recent years.
There is a mark increase in suicides’ as well as alcohol use, drug use, aggression and violence within the vulnerable group.
The spread of intentional physical and mental violence against children from their parents or guardians has been extensively noticeable and revealed over the last few years in Guyana. By becoming more transparent, the violence that is committed against children, we discover that children are more susceptible to become victims of violence than adults.
The dependency of children and especially traditional beliefs that parents and grownups have total rights over children has exposed children to violence. On top of this traditional beliefs that say children are not reliable witnesses, has on time and time again resulted in not listening or ignoring children’s complaints or cries for help.
It is a crying shame for mankind, when the smallest and most vulnerable member of the human race must wait longer than others to have the right to physical health and their social identity be recognised by all and be protected from violence.
Dawn Stewart, B.Sc,