Minister of Gender Affairs Olivia Grange said a number of shelters are being built for victims of abuse, adding that the government will facilitate permanent housing solution for the family of two girls who were sexually abused in St Elizabeth.
Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke was, in Mach this year, sentenced to eight years in prison on two counts of having sexual intercourse with two sisters under the age of 16 years old.
Grange, during her sectoral presentation in parliament this week, said: “My ministry has been working to provide shelter for the family in St Elizabeth that came to national attention following a case of child sexual abuse by a pastor. The family had been living in unsuitable situations.
“The family is in temporary housing. But, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, we are about to begin construction of a permanent housing solution for them.
“The children are currently in a place of safety and we have been mobilising assistance,” Grange further said while she expressed gratitude to Jamaicans who have assisted the family.
She, in the meantime, noted that her ministry has included the establishment of national shelters as part of the Jamaica 55 Legacy Programme.
“I am pleased to report that Cabinet has approved the purchase of a property for use as a national shelter in rural Jamaica. We have completed the purchase and will have the shelter operational very soon,” she told parliament.
“I am also pleased to report that the Crisis Shelter – owned by Government and operated by Woman Inc – was refurbished, retro-fitted and re-opened through partnership with USAID on the International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, 2017.”
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