Senator Mary Isaac is calling for quick intervention to be taken into a recent incident, where a Saint Lucian teen girl was seen in a video, being beaten by her mother with the use of a tree branch.
Isaac said that too much “lip service” is given to these issues and the time has come for it to stop.
She said that it is more than just talking, but ensuring that action is taken to reduce child abuse.
“It’s not just about talking or saying the right thing when you are in a position. You are in a position to make a difference and I think people ought to see that they are making a difference,” Isaac said.
The United Workers Party (UWP) senator believes there are enough women in government, particularly at the Gender Relations and Human Services Ministry to look more deeply into this issue.
“They have the opportunity to put the necessary infrastructure to deal with those issues. I think we have to stop talking and do what is necessary to prevent these things from happening,” she added.
While she believes that the mother was wrong to beat her child in such a brutal manner, Isaac is also of the opinion that lots of parents do these things out of frustration, but noted that it is something that must be stopped.
“There is something that drives them to do that. One of the things I know is the lack of help, frustration from not being able to provide or afford, and the easiest thing for them to do beat someone.”
But the senator said the ministry now has the responsibility to look at society and see what causes a person to abuse someone else, even when it’s someone that they love.
“I don’t think a parent enjoys beating a child in such a manner. But I believe there are extenuating circumstances that would drive someone to do something on the spur of the moment,” she told St. Lucia News Online (SNO).
Isaac said while everyone is quick to judge, no one knows the abuser’s circumstances, explaining that it might not be an everyday behavior portrayed by the parent and even if it is, she still needs help.
She said this issue must not be taken lightly and has advised that both the mother and her child be counselled.
SNO has made several attempts to get a comment from the human services director, but was unsuccessful.
The other welfare and social workers within the department are not allowed to comment.