Perceptions of, Attitudes to and Opinions on Child Sexual Abuse in the Eastern Caribbean

Project Leader: Professor Adele Jones

Dates: 2009-2010

Collaborators: Dr Ena Trotman Jemmott (Action for Children), UNICEF, Governments of Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat and St Kitts/Nevis

This UNICEF, commissioned study was carried out in partnership with Action for Children and involved over 1400 adults in six Caribbean countries. The project explores perceptions of child sexual abuse, the extent of the problem in the region, its effects and what forms of action are needed to address it. This mixed methods study was undertaken by a team of eight Caribbean researchers and was followed by an extensive dissemination and public engagement programme funded by Department of International Development (DFID). The research found that child sexual abuse was a widescale and serious problem, contributing to other problems, the high rates of teen pregnancy IN THE REGION, domestic violence and HIV-AIDS. Child sexual abuse was found to be underpinned by patriarchal values, gender inequality and the status accorded to children, factors that are at one and the same time both historic and contemporary. The research was commended by UNICEF as a landmark study and the full report is available.

The research has resulted in policy and legislative change in several Caribbean countries, has improved professional practice and led to the first book bee written on the topic in the region. Jones, A. (Ed.) 2013. Understanding Child Sexual Abuse; Perspectives from the Caribbean, London: Palgrave Macmillan