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Island must unite to support at-risk youth

The island must unite in support of young people at risk after months of the coronavirus pandemic crisis, according to the Coalition for the Protection of Children.

The charity's executive director, Kelly Hunt, said the organisation was “deeply saddened” by the recent string of violence across the island.

Joshua Rowse, 22, died in a knife attack on South Road, Warwick, on June 14, while a 33-year-old mother suffered multiple life-threatening injuries in a machete attack in Warwick on Friday night.

Two people were stabbed in a brawl at John Smith's Bay on June 13, and a 24-year-old man was shot in St George's later that day.

Ms Hunt said: “Now more than ever, it is abundantly clear that we need to rally around and engage our youth.

“These past few months have been filled with emotion and stress with many families put in situations that they have never experienced before.

“Our young people are particularly at risk and more likely to act out in response to the uncertainty we are facing.”

Ms Hunt said: “As a result of experiencing trauma, feelings of fear, vulnerability and pain are often expressed as anger, so we must address the impact that this is having on our youth in order to prevent further incidences of harm.”

Wayne Caines, the national security minister, condemned the incidents, and spoke on Friday in the House of Assembly on anti-violence work by his team.

Ms Hunt said the Coalition backed the “call to action” and said the charity had been approached on ways to get involved.

She added: “We know that many people do want to help, and we are encouraged that the wider community is interested in making a difference.

“This is the time to come together, support parents, mentor young people, offer positive outlets for our youth to express themselves as well as make personal commitments in our own individual lives to actively impact change.”

Kelly Hunt, the executive director of the Coalition for the Protection of Children (Photograph supplied)

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Published June 22, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated June 22, 2020 at 9:07 am)

Island must unite to support at-risk youth

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