Commentary: Our Grenadian kids need protection

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By Terry Forrester

Call for prayer and justice in the face of escalating sex abuse in Grenada

I am extremely concerned at the prevalence of sex crimes against the children and women of Grenada. Such abuse has far reaching, long term consequences on the social and economic development of our nation.

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Terrance (Terry) Forrester is a real estate business consultant turned politician.
He has served the New National Party (NNP) since 1984 and has been the party’s chief spokesman for over 20 years, which earned him the title of a "political legend" in Grenada. He has now offered himself as an independent candidate for the South St George constituency, an area he knows very well and has interacted with the people over his 30 years in politics.

I call on government to take action now, to deliver a message that Grenada is a country where sexual abuse is not tolerated at any level.

I view with grave concern the numerous reports that have surfaced in recent months of cases where women and girls have been sexually assaulted, in several cases by figures in positions of great authority in Grenada.

Such wanton disregard for the laws of the land and its regulations by persons in public office is cause for serious concern and raises questions about the state’s commitment to stamp out sex crimes in Grenada.

The number of sexual abuse cases, of minors in particular, has been steadily rising but the reality is that perpetrators are not deterred from violating our children.

The time is long overdue for a serious response to sex crimes in Grenada, reflected in the laws enacted in Parliament, going forward.

I call on the government to move quickly to revise our current body of laws on this issue, putting tougher penalties in place for child molesters and other sex offenders. I believe the time has come for a public registry of sex offenders once found guilty in criminal court.

Furthermore, I am calling for laws that will make it much less easy for sexual predators to buy their way out of facing the justice system for their crimes.

The relationship between hardship and poverty and sexual abuse is well established. I am concerned that in many cases of child molestation these factors have played a role.

I believe that joblessness and hopelessness can lead to parents making otherwise unthinkable decisions that compromise the well-being of their children.

We need to reiterate that we condemn all forms and acts of child abuse and sexual molestation and I call on the government to step forward and lead in a responsible manner, to protect our children.

I am therefore calling on our churches and the Christian community to lead the nation in a weekend of prayer and reflection as we seek to wipe out the evil of sex abuse in Grenada.

As an independent candidate for the south St George constituency, I call on government to dedicate a special day for prayer and fasting, for the protection of our young children against sexual predators and what many believe are sex demons pervading our land.

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