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Pattern of porn influence in assault cases, says DPP


Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, QC is expressing concern that easy access to pornography on smartphones and other digital devices by underage children is creeping into assault case patterns seen in courtrooms across the country.

In a presentation to the Rotary Club of downtown Kingston yesterday, titled ‘It Takes a Village to Raise a Child: Myth or Reality in this Age of Child Abuse’, the DPP said there is a need for sustained public education to curtail the trend.

“You have high sexualisation of some of our children the smartphones which a lot of our children have access to, you now have pornography readily available.

“When I started out as a young prosecutor some 30 years go, yes, you had cases of rape and carnal abuse, but what we are finding out now as prosecutors is a heavy sexual component in terms of, you see a child of 16 or 17 raping or having sex with a child under 16, which is an offence, and invariably you will find oral sex being a part of the scenario, or we have even seen buggery where a young child is being buggered by a young man,” the DPP said.

“Very often you will see in the fact pattern, material from which you can infer that this young person who is the accused is clearly being exposed to pornography,” Llewellyn added.

“There is a case in Westmoreland that I came across it is not yet before the courts and the allegations are quite grave. At 13, a young boy, according to the allegations, held a nine-year-old down in the bushes. When I looked at the post-mortem, the victim was only about 50 to 55 pounds, and she was strangled. She was also sexually assaulted and that young man, of course, has been incarcerated in a juvenile centre,” the DPP shared.

She called for a sustained programme of education targeting young males, pointing out that adults are often very well aware of their activities and abuses in instances, but prefer to remain wilfully blind.

“We need to educate a lot of our young boys that what they will see or be exposed to in terms of pornography which helps to objectify women, that will cause them to want to experiment and try out on very young children what they have seen. We need to have sustained public education, whether from official sources or at the behest of clubs like yours,” the DPP appealed.

In the meantime, she lamented the continued degradation of morals in the society.

“We are in a time where violence is celebrated in part of the popular culture, in song. We are in a time when you have the ‘informer fi dead mentality’ and you have the ‘I don’t want to be an informer’ and you have in a lot of communities what I would call an accommodation of criminality,” she said.

Llewellyn argued that instead of the village taking care of the child, and people within that village standing up to and calling out others within the community who are abusing children and reporting them to the police, what now exists is people unwilling to speak.

“Sometimes it even includes members of the political class… persons don’t want to rock the boat, people don’t want to be unpopular,” she stated.

“When you drill down without the police and you talk to the relatives or witnesses it is quite clear that child abuse physical, sexual, emotional, neglect and pornography it is well-known. You always have persons who know but there is a saying in law called wilful blindness, it is just more comfortable to yield to wilful blindness to allow these abused to be hidden in plain sight, to look the other way. My challenge to you all… encourage members of your family, encourage members of your church, encourage members of your club to be an informer. I charge you to be part of the alliance of the law-abiding… be unafraid,” she told the Rotarians.

“Call out even one of your friends, even a member of your family if you suspect they are engaged in some form of child abuse,” she urged.

The DPP further called for a tripling of the number of social workers in the island.

“We need to somehow get resources to have a sustained, maintained public education programme targeted at some of these communities to show that it is not right to think of it as ‘just a little sex’. Because that is the mentality of a lot of more people than you would now, they think it is ‘just a little sex’, not thinking of the emotional harm that will follow those children way into the future. Sometimes that [abuse] causes some of these children to run away,” she said.

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