Thursday 22 October, 2020

Father grateful doctor confirmed his daughter was unharmed by postman

A Barbadian father wants to see more done to protect special needs children in Barbados after his daughter's experience.

His tear-jerking plea came after his daughter had a very close call with a man who was employed as a postman at the time of the incident.

Calling in on Down to Brasstacks on September 28, to share his experience with the law after the incident, he told the moderator and guests - Child Care Board Director Joan Crawford and Consultant Jacqueline Sealy-Burke that this cannot be the way forward.

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"Very concerned" about an incident which happened to one of his daughters who has Down Syndrome, he said:

"And at the end of it I was left with the impression that children who cannot, children in this state who are Down Syndrome, who actually suffer from other mental issues have no rights at all because the incident is that I have reported it to the police.

"The steps that the police took was [sic] that because she was not, what we say, she could not explain herself, therefore she would not make a good witness in the court of law, they were not willing to pursue the matter at all."

But he said as a father he tried to take further steps in light of this lack of justice.

"Eventually, all I was able to do was to write the appropriate authorities where the person involved was employed and ask for action to be taken. I received a one letter, a one-sentence letter saying that your complaint has been noted and it would be investigates."

Exaplining what transpired on that day in question.

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The dad recalled: "My daughter was home with her uncle who had stepped out for a few minutes, he had just went up the road for a few minutes, and a postman came to the house and ended up in the bedroom with my daughter. Fortunately the uncle came home and saw the postman there. He asked, 'What you doing in there?' He said, 'Oh I just went to use the bathroom.'

"Now the house has two bathrooms . . . and the bathroom that he used could not be seen from the road, could not be seen from inside the house, but there was another bathroom that he could have walked straight into, seen it with no problem at all.

"Also, the mailbox is on the front of the house. So he had no right at all, no right at all."

Distraught still, he pleaded: "What rights do these children have? What recourse do they have? If they cannot speak like a university graduate, they cannot put over their ideas and represent themselves, nothing is done. Nothing is done!"

Despite being unable to verbally articulate herself, the father said that her little girl "indicated where she was touched and things like this, but because she could not be able to go on a witness stand in front of some high-powered lawyer and present herself in a way that would convince a magistrate or jury that she knew what she was talking about, nothing was done."

Exhaling after recapping the whole experience, he sighed and added: "The only thing that I got any satisfaction from was that when I took her to a doctor the doctor assured me that she was not injured or she was not tampered with anywhere. That was the only good feeling I got out of this."

Feeling very helpless to this day, though having not stated how long ago or how recently the incident occurred, he simply said: "I realise that children like these, not only her, children who fall under this category, what rights do they have? . . . Children who are vulnerable to predators in this society, when things happen to them. How do we treat to it?"

The guests on the show on September 28 were there to speak on the issue of reforming legislation to protect children in Barbados.

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