Do not cover up Alpha Boys’ Home sexual exploitation problem – attorney
Published: Friday April 18, 2014 | 9:34 am 8 Comments
Prominent attorney, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown, says there should be no attempt to cover up the problem of sexual exploitation at the Alpha Boys’ Home in Kingston.
The residential care arm of the Alpha Boys’ School is to close in June.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, had listed behavioural problems, including sexual abuse as a main reason for the decision.
However, her statements have been condemned as thoughtless and the Sisters of Mercy who operate the home have said the boys have been hurt as a result.
However, Samuels-Brown says she supports the Minister of Youth for the bold step she has taken in highlighting the issue.
In a letter to the editor published in the Gleaner’s online edition today, Samuels-Brown said the problem is even more pervasive than the youth minister has revealed.
The attorney says she knows of two brothers who are former residents of the home who have given accounts of employees, including persons holding high positions in the Church, who would enter the dorm in the nights and select boys who would be forced into inappropriate relationships.
She says these former residents of Alpha remain pained and traumatised by those experiences, but they cannot talk about them publicly.
Samuels Brown says Jamaica does not have to wait for commissions of enquiry or adversarial litigation to do what is right for the nation’s children.