Dominica: Incest shoots up after Hurricane Maria

(DNO) – There has been an increase in the reported cases of incest in Dominica after Hurricane Maria, according to Head of the Child Abuse Prevention Unit, Jemma Azille-Lewis.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, she said there are reported cases of brothers and uncles being involved.

“I don’t have the figure with me but from what has reached my office, we’ve had an increase in the reported cases of incest,” she said.

She stated that this could due to displacement caused by the devastating hurricane which hit the island in September last year.

“You will find these things happening because we had displacement issues and persons share a lot with their family and different persons sharing placement,” she said. “Persons were sharing homes, so we had different families, different persons sharing under one roof.”

She added that the problem was not concentrated in hurricane shelters because the Child Abuse Prevention Unit went to them to have one on one with those living there but in homes.

“In homes where you find persons were sharing spaces, that’s where we saw the incest cases,” Azille-Lewis said. “So we had a few with brothers and uncles and so on.”

She also said there has been a rise in pregnancy and other sexual abuse cases after the hurricane.