The year 2013 may certainly be a year when an increasing number of the island’s children appear to be running away from home. The question is not so much who or what they are running to (as some callous Facebook and internet comments often allude to having the answers) but who or what they are running away from. It is little secret that many of our young people suffer from one form of abuse or another- physical, verbal or sexual. It is also no secret too, that many of the mothers themselves young women are barely able to cope with the challenges of raising and caring for their children.The local support services seem barely adequate as there is little by way of intervention for a mother or child’s desperate cry for help.
According to one seemingly composed mother Rufina Gerson, Monique her thirteen years old and student of the Vide Boutielle Secondary School is now missing. She was last seen on the morning of Monday November 25, as she was supposed to have been heading to school to do exams.
Gerson told the STAR, that she was adamant at calling the local authorities when she realized that her daughter had not returned home. “I noticed she didn’t come back home on the Monday, and I wanted to call the police. But I know that you are supposed to wait 48 hours before you can call them so I called on the Wednesday”.
Gerson stated that the police have been assisting her ever since she made her report on November 27.
“The police told me that somebody called and said that they saw her (Monique) at a particular place, but when they went to search for her, they were unable to find her there”.
An interesting revelation is that Gerson confessed to the STAR that this is not the first time her daughter has disappeared. She told us that when her daughter leaves and doesn’t return, people call and tell her of her daughter’s whereabouts and she goes and searches for her. Unfortunately this time she hasn’t gotten any such phone call.
“My daughter was well behaved. All of a sudden she started acting up and disappearing. One time I found her at the home of a young man. He was arrested but was released after one weekend. When I asked why, they told me that although my daughter was found at his home, that doesn’t mean he did anything to her.”
Gerson is not sure what to conclude because of these previous occurrences. She is more than in need of answers. She is even more worried as Monique is her only child.