The Director of the Division of Human Services, Beverly-Ann Poyotte, has disclosed that a child who sworn at and apparently physically abused for defecating on the floor of a home, is now in the care of his mother.
The incident is believed to have occurred in Castries while the child had been spending time with his father for Father’s Day.
An audio recording of the child being beaten and a male adult swearing at him, along with a photograph of the alleged perpetrator were posted on social media.
Poyotte’s statement follows:
The Division of Human Services is in receipt of a voice note where a man is swearing at a seemingly young child for what he said is the child defecating on the floor of the home.
He goes on to ask the child to pick up the poop from the floor.
One can also hear what appears to be the man beating the child.
On Tuesday June 24th at about 1 pm police officers attached to the Central Police Station and the Marchand Police Station sought the assistance of the Division of Human Services to assist in removing the two year old child from the home of his father, where he had been sent to spend Father’s day.
When the child was not returned to the mother, she sought the assistance of the police, armed with the knowledge that her son had been beaten for performing an ordinary bodily function.
The voice note was apparently recorded by the father and sent to the mother asking her to come and clean the mess.
His justification for the use of expletives and beating the child was that the mother did not tell him that the child was not potty trained.
The child was removed from his care and returned to his mother.
Subsequently, a medical examination was performed, the results of which are pending.
The mother is also assisting the police in the investigation of this matter while the Division of Human Services is working on providing social support to the mother and child.
Bearing in mind that he is only two years old, counselling is not the most appropriate method of intervention.
We will be assisting the mother to monitor him for any signs of regression in his development, which would inform of any possible trauma from such an event.
Assessments will be conducted to determine what other support services are necessary at this time.
The content, language and apparent level of aggression expressed in the voice note is an indication that the father can also benefit from some form of Social/ psychological intervention.
As to whether this is provided by the Division of Human Services or a sister agency such as the Department of Probation and Parole would be dependent on the course of action taken by the Police.
However, this has brought to the fore, the need for parents to understand the stages of development of a child and the kind of behaviour that is associated with each stage.
Parenting and the development of parental skill in caring for a child are not always automatic and we as a society must take responsibility to assist each other in raising the children of this nation.
I am heartened to note the number of persons who have called or messaged to inform of the situation in an effort to get help for the child.
This is the epitome of caring and it only through this method of reporting that we can eradicate child abuse one case at a time.