Child doctor: Bahamians must take abductions more seriously

Child doctor: Bahamians must take abductions more seriously
Photo courtesy of http://www.caribbeancenter.org.

Says latest abductions are an “awakening”

 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Despite the alleged abduction of two children within the span of two weeks,  Clinical Director of the Caribbean Center for Child Development in The Bahamas, Dr. Michelle Major, on Wednesday suggested that child abduction in The Bahamas is not taken as seriously as it should be.

Dr. Major said while there is a higher rate of child abductions reported in other countries, many in The Bahamas are of the view that their children are generally safe.

“We know that in other countries there is a higher rate of children being kidnapped, so [Bahamians may say] I feel very comfortable that our children are safe on the streets and on the playgrounds, and coming to and from school. And so for us this [abduction] is a little bit of an awakening…,” Dr. Major said.

She also advised parents to educate their children about what is considered to be safe and inappropriate touching, as well as consent.

“We live in a culture where it is not okay to say ‘no’ to adults. You say yes ma’am and no ma’am but you don’t really fight back.  We really need to move away from that and teach our children that there are times to say ‘no’ and to fight back.

“We really have to define these terms for our children so that they know when it is okay to be that way,” Dr. Major stated.

On Sunday past, around 2:00 a.m., an eight-year-old girl was allegedly abducted from her home and dropped off less than an hour later at the entrance of the Woodlawn Gardens cemetery.

The family of the child later alleged that she was sexually molested by her abductor.

According to Dr. Major, being abducted usually results in the child experiencing some form of crisis. She said it is therefore important for an abducted child who returns home, to receive the appropriate psychological intervention and support.

Dr. Major also noted that when a child is violated it can cause serious repercussions for both the child and the family.

She, therefore, advised that if a child is going to a friend’s house or when they are leaving home, they should inform an adult, as worrying about a child’s whereabouts can present a lot of trauma for the family.

“Their brain goes in so many places and they begin to think maybe the child has been abducted or may be dead or hurt somewhere, so then that family is also experiencing some trauma and the crisis of feeling helpless, hopeless and not knowing what to do.”

Dr. Major said it is important to look out for signs which may indicate if a child has been violated.

These signs include:

  • A sudden change in character
  • If your child suddenly begins collecting or hiding things
  • If your child suddenly begins wetting the bed

Dr. Major said if a child is exhibiting these signs, a parent must pay attention.

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This article was written by Matthew Moxey – Eyewitness News Online – Intern