There was a condemnation yesterday afternoon, being leveled at the thousands of persons who used social media, to share the video of the brutal gang rape of a teenaged girl in Trelawny, Jamaica.
Youth and Culture Minister, Lisa Hanna, says she’s outraged and deeply disturbed by the gang rape of the 17-year-old girl.
The Minister has described the incident as a vicious attack.
She’s also outraged that a video of the incident was posted on social media.
Her comments are contained in a statement issued yesterday by the Child Development Agency, CDA.
The CDA says the teen has been placed in residential care.
The CDA says it stepped in immediately after the incident.
It says it’s been facilitating care and protection as well as medical and psycho-social support to help in the recovery of the teenager.
On Facebook alone, the video had received over 37,000 views up to Saturday, before it was flagged by users and removed.
The Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, says the sharing the video further humiliates the victim.
Jamaican law makes it an offense to create or distribute pornographic material involving children, regardless of whether the child was a willing participant.
In this instance, Children’s Advocate, Diahann Gordon Harrison, says there was the original crime of the rape, and a second crime involving the recording of the rape.
Mrs. Gordon Harrison says sharing the video stigmatizes the victim and breaches her right to privacy.
The President of Young Jamaica, Howard Chamberlain, agrees. He says people who see such videos on social media should report them, rather than share them.
Mrs. Gordon Harrison says there are very limited circumstances under which this type of video can be shared.
Although some would argue that it’s wrong to create the video in the first place, there are times when such a recording can be useful in an investigation.
In the meantime, it’s urging citizens with information on the matter to cooperate fully with the authorities. Meanwhile, the Police say three juveniles have already been detained in relation to the incident. The three are among at least seven males who were seen on the video perpetrating the assault.
Most of those seen in the video, appear to be teenaged boys. Head of the Trelawny Police, Superintendent Wilfred Campbell, says some of the suspects are being shielded by their parents.
He also revealed this morning that the police are also investigating another sexual assault case involving the teenager.