TEN THOUSAND cases of child abuse were reported in Jamaica in 2013. 10,000. Four zeroes. That means there were ten thousand times an individual thought it necessary to take action to report a child being harmed. That takes much time and effort. And then think about all the times people ignored the situation, did not want to get involved or simply did not know how to file a report. Think about it: in one year, there were 10,000 incidents in which a child felt pain at the hands of an adult, likely an adult who was supposed to be protecting them.
Of course, this is unacceptable. We don’t hear a lot about all the work that happens on the ground to combat this epidemic, but the government agencies, the churches and civil society groups are doing what they can with little resources to protect these most innocent members of society.
Judging by media headlines and discourse, however, one would be forgiven in thinking that Jamaica’s children are in fact safe in their homes but threatened instead by the “gay agenda“. The most recent controversy surrounds the curriculum used in private children’s homes by a civil society group contracted by the government. (Read a reporter’s account of the culmination of a press conference on the topic.)
Clearly, the situation has overheated. Rhetoric and defensiveness now distort everyone’s perspective. The issue has also had fuel thrown on the fire by headlines like “Homo Thugs” and a story about a male jogger being raped (with no verification) and the termination of a contract of a professor at the University of the West Indies for making statements about HIV/AIDS.
It is time for everyone to step away from the flames, take a deep breath of clean air and remember what is important. TEN THOUSAND reports of children being abused.
Discussion amongst elites in the media is not an accurate measure of what the nation is talking about, but it is an indication and it does influence the national conversation. So people at churches, parties and the workplace are now talking about the “gay agenda” and how it is taking over Jamaica. What about the TEN THOUSAND reports of child abuse?
To date, there is no evidence that the “gay agenda” harms children. But there is documented evidence of AT LEAST TEN THOUSAND instances of harm to children in ONE YEAR ALONE. It is time to direct the nation’s energy and attention to this tragic epidemic.