For over three decades, the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) has served as a beacon of hope in Jamaica, diligently combating sexual crimes and child abuse. Established in 1989 within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), CISOCA has honed its specialized approach, fostering a more compassionate and confidential environment for victims.
“CISOCA is not just an investigative unit; it is a sanctuary for survivors, irrespective of their gender or social status,” asserts Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Maldria Jones-Williams, the head of CISOCA. The centre embodies this philosophy through its well-equipped facilities, including a dedicated medical office, professional counsellors, and a mobile unit to facilitate on-the-spot reports for individuals unable or uncomfortable to visit in person. This ‘one-stop-shop’ approach is crucial to improving service delivery.
Sexual abuse, unfortunately, isn’t confined to specific demographics. “All children are (potentially) vulnerable,” emphasizes SSP Jones-Williams. The holiday periods, she notes, witness a surge in incidents as children, under the care of neighbours or family members, often fall prey to these very custodians. The advent of technology further compounds the problem, with unsupervised screen time exposing children to online predators.
CISOCA’s mission extends beyond just prosecution. SSP Jones-Williams fervently advocates for open dialogue between parents and their children regarding the potential repercussions of indiscriminate sexual encounters, such as unexpected pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and the emotional trauma associated with these experiences. “With the increase in technology and the time now given to our children during these summer months, the incidents of sexual offences and abuse against our children are on the rise,” she said.
While many parents are at work, their children are often left unsupervised resulting in longer encounters with gadgets and varying social media platforms-longer interface time leaving the child or children vulnerable to these sexual predators.
Impressively, CISOCA consistently achieves a clear up rate of up to 70% on sexual and abuse-related cases, underscoring their effectiveness. Moreover, they maintain a presence in every parish across Jamaica, ensuring no one is denied access to their services.
In their Kingston headquarters, you’ll find an environment designed to ease the discomfort of trauma survivors, replete with child-friendly spaces that radiate comfort and safety.
The fight against sexual offences and child abuse isn’t confined to the boundaries of the centre. SSP Jones-Williams highlights the team’s commitment to nationwide education, “Each week we are out in the field, engaging in outreach programs at churches, schools, and community groups. Our mission transcends our office spaces.”
CISOCA continues its 24-hour operation, steadfastly providing support and justice to victims. To contact CISOCA, call at 876-926-4079 or email at email@example.com. Their doors and hearts are always open.
In an age fraught with threats lurking in every corner, CISOCA stands tall as a steadfast ally for the survivors, persistently striving to create a safer, more compassionate Jamaica for all.