Break the silence - CISOCA urges sexual abuse victims to speak out

May 26, 2023
This placard says it all.
This placard says it all.

Head of the St James branch of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA), Detective Corporal Natasha Dixon, is urging individuals not to hesitate to report instances of sexual violence and exploitation.

Dixon, who leads the Mount Salem-based CISOCA office, said victims should not suffer in a world of silence, humiliation and agony. She said that the police will not ignore reports that have been made.

"The unit diligently investigates every single reported case. We have successfully cleared the majority of rape cases, and 60 per cent of all other reported cases," Dixon said of the St James branch.

Data published by the Jamaica Constabulary Force on its website shows that there has been a 69 per cent reduction in rape reported in St James between January 1 and April 30, when compared with the corresponding period last year. A total of 11 reports were received during the period. Islandwide, incidents of rape have plummeted 38.5 per cent, moving from 169 in 2022 to 104 in the first five months of the year.

CISOCA was created as a response to the need for police sensitivity to victims of sexual assault. It also seeks to create an atmosphere which encourages victims to report incidents of sexual offence . Dixon's five-member team is equipped with the necessary training to ensure privacy, build trust, and promote thorough investigations.

"Our office provides a safe and friendly environment in which victims can share their experiences without fear or worry of judgement," said Dixon, adding, "The provision of a space of this nature enhances the confidence of the children interviewed, enabling them to provide the necessary information to build solid cases."

She said that victims as well as parents and guardians of children who have been abused, and anyone with information can report incidences of sexual abuse.

"Trained officers are here to listen and support you in any way we can. Your voice matters and your information could help us bring the offender to justice and ensure the safety of you and others in similar situations," the cop said.

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