NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Director of Social Services Lillian Quant-Forbes suggested on Tuesday that due process may not have been followed in the alleged abduction, reported molestation and subsequent return of an eight-year-old girl.
“Unfortunately the ball may have gotten dropped and in this situation. It seems that things may have gone awry where persons were not properly advised,” Quant-Forbes said.
The eight-year-old victim was returned to her family on Sunday morning after she was allegedly abducted earlier that same day around 2:00 a.m. from her Milton Street home by a man.
Police reported that less than an hour later, the child was left at the entrance of the Woodlawn Gardens Cemetery on Village Road.
The victim’s family later confirmed on Monday that she had been assaulted.
Sunday’s alleged abduction was the second reported in the span of two weeks.
The family reported that police officials directed them to take the child to hospital. While there, they reported that they were given forms to get the child tested, which they had to pay for.
But Quant-Forbes said if this is what transpired, something went wrong.
“When they go to the hospital there is a protocol that they have to follow,” she explained.
“The hospital personnel will then take the information and refer one to the police, and they would also refer the matter to Social Services.
“I don’t know the particulars, but as it relates to the family going to PMH for assistance and not receiving assistance we have health services so that parents can go there.”
She added that in such cases, the Social Services Department is always guided by The Royal Bahamas Police Force.
The Social Services Director also addressed criticisms levied at the Department and their reported failure to step in over the recent alleged crimes against children.
Yesterday, Quant-Forbes insisted that they did step in.
“My social workers are out dealing with these matters. We try our best to do what we are mandated to do by law and making sure that at the end of the day we did the best that we can do with the situation that we were faced with,” she said.
Quant-Forbes also noted that parents must be held accountable.
“Make sure our children and homes are as safe as we can make it and understand that at some point parents also have to set guidelines,” she said.
At last report, the eight-year-old victim was assisting police in giving a description of her alleged attacker to police.
On February 16, three-year-old Shavard Bain Jr. was also allegedly abducted by two women in a silver vehicle while riding his bicycle in the area of South Beach Estates.
Bain Jr. was later dropped off the following day at a laundromat on Joe Farrington Road.
In this case, police issued a composite sketch of the alleged attacker but to date, no arrests have been made.