A Morvant mother who says her daughter was sexually assaulted by a police officer in July 2020 is appealing for justice for her child as she claims investigators are dragging their feet with the case.
The woman, who did not wish to be identified, told Guardian Media on July 4, 2020, she was heartbroken when her 12-year-old daughter confided in her that she was sexually assaulted.
She said the child told her about the incident after she returned home from spending time at a relative’s house.
“She asked me first what would happen if he (the alleged perpetrator) was locked up and eventually she just came out and told me everything. I was so angry, I wanted to report it right away but she seemed too scared,” the woman said.
But she said the next day, she told the child that abuse must be reported.
“I learned about the grooming that paedophiles do and it all added up. I made her dress and took her to the police station to make the report.”
But it would take two days and visits to four different police stations before a report was taken from the child.
The woman said weeks later, the child was sent for a medical report to be done at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.
She said since then, she has had difficulty in getting any updates from investigators despite making frequent calls to the police station.
While she waits, each day her daughter becomes more withdrawn. She has spoken out- like victims and survivors are often urged to do- and no action has been taken against her alleged abuser.
“I want this to just end at some point because while my daughter would seem as though everything is ok, she is not eating, she is not dealing with things the way she used to before, she is asking me to sleep with her in the night,” the distraught mother said.
She said because the alleged perpetrator was known to her family, the child has now become the subject of victim-shaming and they have both been cut-off from relatives and friends who support the alleged abuser.
“They are saying all kinds of things about her and labelling her in a certain way. I wanted to think that anyone hearing of something like this, their first instinct would be to protect the child, not to protect an adult who can fend for themselves,” the woman said.
She said on Monday, she again contacted the police station, only to be told officers had grown weary of her persistence.
“They told me they do not have my paperwork, they do not have the new paperwork that was done pertaining to the investigation and they had no update to give me. The officer also informed me that because of my attitude, officers have made a statement that they do not want to interact with me,” she said.
She made an appeal for better procedures to be put into place to protect children who speak out against abuse.
“We need to do better when it comes to children and protecting our children and our women, I can only talk about my daughter and I can only say she does not feel safe sometimes, she did not deserve to be interrogated like a criminal at the police station and while the officers saying he (alleged abuser) has not been interviewed yet.”
Guardian Media contacted Police Commissioner Gary Griffith who asked that the woman send the information directly to him.
The Commissioner said he would ensure the matter is thoroughly investigated.