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Jamaican Authorities Report Worrying Incidents of Physical Abuse Against Children

Mixed Reaction As Jamaican Mother Charged for Beating Daughter With Machete {VIDEO}

Jamaican children are suffering at the hands of their parents, mainly mothers who dole out brutal forms of corporal punishment.

According to the Child Development Agency (CDA), infants as young as six months have been burnt with hot irons, chopped with knives or machetes, soaked with boiling water, or severely beaten with electrical cords.

The agency made the revelations in an investigative report by the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper at the height of public outrage of the video showing a mother beating her daughter with a machete.

Doreen Dyer, 44, has since been charged with cruelty to a child. The matter will be heard in court on November 15.

The CDA said the level of physical abuse children endured was worrying and, more so, the types of implements being used.

According to the CDA’s chief executive officer Rosalie Gage-Grey, from January to September of this year, the Investigations Unit received 10,267 cases; in 2016, the unit received 12,804. Of the number of cases received since the start of 2017, there was an increase in physical abuse.

“Based on reports received by the CDA’s Investigations Unit during the period 2016-2017, there is an overall increase which is at alarming levels,” he said.

She told the Gleaner that when investigators visit scenes of abuse, they are shocked by the visible scars on the bodies of children.

“We have seen pictures of babies with scars on every inch of their skin, cuts on faces, arms, legs and this is not right,” Gage-Grey said.

She explained that children were often punished for not acting on commands quickly enough, purchasing the wrong items when sent on errands, not doing homework, or being too noisy.

Gage-Grey said CDA investigators were traumatized in some cases and she insisted that the offending parents should be brought to justice.

Counselling psychologist Dr Patrece Charles attributed the social ill to Jamaica’s culture of corporal punishment.

She pointed that a majority of the parents who abuse their children were also victims of abuse.

“The cycle of abuse they are exposing their children to was taught. They don’t know a way to discipline or manage their emotions,” she said.

Another expert, child and family therapist Dr Beverley Scott expressed concern that the children are traumatized by the abuse and carry the effects of the childhood experiences throughout life.




The Jamaican teenager at the centre of a vicious beating that went viral on social media recently, is upset that her mother will face the law courts. And both government and opposition spokespeople say the incident points to deeper issues that must be addressed.

Doreen Dyer, 44, was arrested and charged with cruelty to a child and will appear in the St Thomas Parish Court next week over the incident in which she beat her 13-year-old daughter with a machete last year.

At the height of strong public outrage, the girl told a talk show on Hitz 92 FM, a local radio station, that her mother was one of the best in the world and she felt bad about the developments.

Another daughter also rushed to her mother’s defence. Sheryl Jones, 21, told the media that since the video went viral, many people were wrongfully accusing her mother whom she said “don’t normally beat”.

Spokesman on youth and culture for the Opposition People’s National Party, Damion Crawford, also said that Jamaicans were pointing fingers in the wrong direction.

Crawford, who visited the community where the family lives to investigate the circumstances surrounding the ordeal, contended that while the child was a victim of physical abuse, the parent was also a victim of the Jamaican culture of discipline and the inability to receive legitimate assistance with child rearing.

“Everyone has confirmed that this is not an often occurrence. They’ve confirmed that the lady is almost like the mother for the community; the person who seeks to bail the young people from jail or out of trouble. So, it’s unfortunate that without adequate information, the call has been for imprisonment, which benefits neither child nor parent. The main villain, in my opinion, was the adult who chose to capture [the video] rather than intervene,” Crawford told the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.

He called for the State to re-socialize the mother, rather than criminalize her.

Meanwhile, State Minister with responsibility for youth in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, expressed concern about the video but said the case highlighted the need for greater parental intervention and guidance.

The Child Development Agency said the girl underwent counseling and is being cared for by relatives.

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Comment by greenstreet58 on October 15, 2017 at 10:01pm
Very true. From what I read the mother has a lot on her plate but that is no reason but I can understand he reaction. The household needs help. They sent the child by family but she wants to come back home to her mother so that alone tells me she understands that she did wrong.
I got some of those in my days when I got out of hand and I love my mother for it.
Comment by Jerome S [ Barz ] on October 15, 2017 at 1:47am
The PARENTS (@ least ) the best ones have known that it is primarily, initially, firstly, solely they responsibility for the safety, welfare, and overall care for the children that they are blessed with. She beat her child, she is at fault. Children don't always deserve or warrant the beating or assaulting, but they have gotten it. A machete is a lethal weapon or tool if used properly, or improperly.
There is no excuse for grown people for assaulting children recklessly, altho the child did not lose any limbs
I could not recommend this punishment to any parent disciplining children.
Comment by mr1stroke on October 15, 2017 at 12:09am
greenstreet58 you realize all they do is disagree, ok i get it, than they too busy blaming her, but not one of them provide a solution to the problem, so whats the use of this discussion? Really
Comment by greenstreet58 on October 14, 2017 at 11:44pm
Well said Mr.1
Comment by caribmama on October 14, 2017 at 7:01pm

I have alot of respect for a women that can beat azz with a machete an not cut you. Mad skills!

Comment by mr1stroke on October 13, 2017 at 8:42pm
But to all i see is that just about every one is saying how wrong the mother is, but no one is offerinf a solution of what she should have done for behavior luke that, after all where is the contribution to all of this, but wait those who likes to blame are the same onr who would come down on the mother if that little girl end up pregnant or a hooker on the street, after all is isnt what makes the black community beautiful, either we are going to blame someone, or make excuses for our ignorance or other people's behavior, nothing has change
But for those of us who were raise right with no excuses and a line of credit to make dumb mistakes know a girl being raise with no discipline either will end up pregnant, pump by some dude man, or look through other men for security, a boy without discipline will end up underachieve, lock up, or dead. If one dont have no discipline how can they commit or respect? But good parents dont let their children fail.
Comment by Donique Whonder on October 13, 2017 at 4:44pm
@alexander shaw you know what im saying, prevention is key. Lets not allow that to actually happen. Everytime a story come out with kids tied up in the basement like animals people only reveal the fact that all the signs was right in front of them after the abuse and murder gone too far.
Comment by alexander shaw on October 13, 2017 at 4:14pm

@Donique Wonder. Thanks for the positive comments. I wonder what kind of "credit" the mother would have gotten if she had "accidentally" chopped off the girls head and have to plan a funeral.

Comment by mr1stroke on October 12, 2017 at 5:00pm

Donique Whonder lol we are not argueing nor am i twisting anything i gave you example regarding to what you said which is why i repeat them in my comment, now i am one who wants to get community involve in discussion

whether its townhall, debate or discussion, i want people to get involve if we do im sure many of us will come to something good, but if every one wants to ignore they need not to complaint, so contribute how ever you can thats what makes us beautiful as a people instead of always trying to kill each other. Now what movie are you watching

Comment by Donique Whonder on October 12, 2017 at 4:55pm
I notice you good with twisting and turning thing and long talking i am speaking on this situation and what may or may not have lead to this situation at hand. Im watching a scary movie and will argue with you on a different topic, good bye mr everlasting 1stroke i am tired.

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