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Fighting child sexual abuse in the Caribbean

By Tamar Hahn

KINGSTON, Jamaica, 18 May 2012 – A nine-year old boy was systematically raped by his pastor while his mother was at work; an 18-month old baby boy died of internal damage after being raped by his uncle; a little girl was infected with gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes and HIV by an uncle who was in and out of prison.

These are some of the cases Sandra Knight, a general practitioner at the paediatric hospital in Kingston, has treated over the years. The abuse tormented her, compelling her to speak out to the press. Dr. Knight’s accounts have created an uproar in the Eastern Caribbean, and an avalanche of front-page stories about child sexual abuse has followed.

“I felt that my peers were becoming complacent about this issue,” Dr. Knight said. “But I felt I had a tsunami in front of me, which was affecting me because I also have a 6-year-old daughter. I saw these children dying, getting sick, being traumatized for life.”

Read the original article on UNICEF website.