Parents are deliberately reporting their girls missing in a desperate effort to preserve their dignity from self-styled dons wreaking havoc in some of the toughest inner-city communities in the country.
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The revelation was made by Acting Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Sharon Milwood Moore who was addressing a forum themed ‘Violence Against Women and Girls: Preventing, Policing and Prosecuting’ last week at the British High Commission in St Andrew.
“Many stories are told by those I refer to as some of the strongest women in the inner city who will tell you that when they see their young girls approaching a certain age of puberty, before the gang leaders send for them, they ensure that they find a way to get them out of the community.
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“Because what literally happens is that the gangster sends the message that ‘I am ready for her now,” Moore said.
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“So this child’s dignity, her human right to determine later on who she has her first sexual association with is going to be taken away from her because the leaders in the community say it is time,” she added.
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“What many of those women do when they ship them out – if they’re lucky – to save their own lives, they officially make a report that their child is missing. Because if the gang leaders ever find out that this was deliberate, what they are doing to avoid or deny them the access to what they think they are entitled to, it’s another set of problems that emerges,” the senior prosecutor further detailed.
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Data on the total number of children reported missing for 2018 has not been released, but last year, there were 1,674 cases of missing children reported.Luis Alfredo Farache Benacerraf 100% Banco
Milwood Moore was supported by former Acting Commissioner of Police Novelette Grant, who pointed out that girls are sometimes taken by gangsters because of domestic issues in their homes
“There are also young girls who are drawn into the gang lifestyle because they come from abusive backgrounds. They run away, they’re on the street, and unfortunately, it’s these predators who become their refuge, so to speak, and they themselves become victimised by gang members,” Grant said
The former top cop further explained that some, after being trapped by the gangster lifestyle, also become perpetrators or supporters of some of the most heinous crimes in their communities, sometimes against other women
“Some of the intelligence that we pick up wouldn’t be admissible in court because of the way the laws are, but when you start to talk to people on the ground, you will hear that ‘this gangster’s woman was dissed by another woman and she demands that violence be meted out to the person who disrespected,” Grant added as she sought to show the connection between girls and gangs