Advice for parents: ‘Look out for wolf in sheep’s clothing’

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The fact that “sexual predators” who abuse children and young people are rarely strangers, but are known to the victims has been widely accepted.
According to a local probation officer, the cases that are heard in the local courts, in relation to the sexual abuse of minors, can only be contained with “divine intervention”.
Denfield Philip who is attached to the Family and Social Services Division in the Ministry of Social Transformation, told OBSERVER media yesterday that at this point only God can intervene to protect young victims of sexual abuse.
“I firmly believe for it to get under some sort of control it would have to be divine intervention,” Philip said.
In most cases, sexual predators are family members, neighbours, teachers, coaches or trusted community members who gain the victim’s trust before defiling them.
“You start to wonder if the perpetrator is a known person for such, you wonder if the perpetrator is close to the family, why he does certain things or if the perpetrator has a mental issue,” Philip said.
“Some build a relationship with the family and some don’t … I recognise within the past few years, close friends to the family get access because they are close with the mother or father,” Phillip said.
He cautioned that putting laws in place will not be enough to alleviate the problem, because it is a social issue and therefore, “man has to take responsibility for his or her actions”.
The probation officer added that the officers in the Ministry of Social Transformation have deduced that a large number of cases are due to neglectful parents.
“We are preaching, we are teaching, but the parents have to take some responsibility in spending time with their children,” Philip said. “There are no bonds between the parent and the children so the children find someone to bond with — somebody at school, a gang member, some predator, and then this problem happens.”
During the interview, Phillip disclosed that he has observed cases where some of the children who display deviant behaviour think that it’s their only alternative.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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