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There is an expansive literature on child sexual abuse (CSA), arising predominantly out of North America and other western contexts that spans over thirty years, and yet this book charts a journey that feels as if it is only just beginning. It is not that awareness of CSA in the Caribbean has only recently dawned, how could this be in a part of the world characterised in part by its history of slavery, indentureship and colonial relations through which the sexual victimisation of women and children had become structurally embedded as a proprietorial right (see, for example, Kempadoo, 1999 and Kempadoo and Dunn, 2001). Yet historical accounts aside, the published literature on CSA and its contemporary manifestations in the Caribbean is scant to say the least. Many Caribbean countries lack effective procedures for gathering and sharing information on child abuse. Illustrative of this is the invisibility of Caribbean countries in international reviews of the study of abuse. The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect global survey: ‘World Perspectives on Child Abuse’ showed that of the eight Caribbean countries invited to participate in the 125-country survey, there was not a single response from the region (ISPCAN, 2008). The global survey has been carried out every four years since 1992 yet only sporadic responses from Caribbean countries have been recorded. In an earlier global study on rehabilitation programmes for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation carried out on behalf of ECPAT (Manion, 2004) there were no data from Caribbean countries at all; governments did not respond to the invitation to participate.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Child Sexual Abuse
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives from the Caribbean
EditorsAdele D. Jones
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781137020055
ISBN (Print)9781137020048
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2013


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