SAN JUAN – Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller is proposing tougher penalties for sexual offenses committed against minors and for murders of pregnant teens.
â€œThe abuse of our nationâ€™s children weighs heavily on my heart, and I know on the hearts of every well-thinking Jamaican. This is an ugly subject, a shameful matter. It is unacceptable and unworthy of us as a nation,â€ she told the House of Representatives.
Simpson-Miller pointed to research showing â€œthat one girl in every five aged 15-19 years who are sexually active, has reported being forced to have sex.â€
â€œResearch by the Office of the Childrenâ€™s Registry indicates that only 1 in 10 adult Jamaicans, despite knowing, come forward with information to the police about cases of abuse against children, including sexual abuse,â€ she said.
The prime minister wants to see harsher sentences for sex offenders who target minors and for killers of pregnant adolescents, especially if it can be established that the perpetrator knew of the pregnancy.
â€œThis is unacceptable! We cannot remain silent! Cases of incest and sexual abuse in the family setting are also very unsettling. It is a crime. It is evil. It must be condemned. Big men and women, some fathers and mothers, step-fathers, uncles and cousins, who prey on children, must leave our little children alone,â€ she said.
Simpson-Miller called on Jamaicans to contact authorities if they have any information related to sexual abuse of minors. – BERNAMA