August 2, 2013

Granny fears girl, 13, may have been forced into prostitution

The grandmother of a 13-year-old girl fears that her granddaughter may have been forced into prostitution, since she ran away from home on June 23.{{more}}

The woman is therefore pleading with the authorities to assist her with getting the teenager off the streets, before the worst befalls the child.

According to the woman, the girl, whom we will refer to as Susan (not her real name), left her home on the Windward side of St Vincent, and has been seen by villagers at a bar in the area.

The woman said Susan ran away from home on June 23, shortly after it is alleged that the girl tried to poison her grandmother and her grandmother’s husband.

Granny said on that morning she sent Susan to the shop.

When Susan returned, she told her grandmother that ground provisions were available for sale, so the grandmother said that she gave the girl $10 to buy some.

That was at about 8:30 in the morning, Granny said.

After waiting for a few hours for Susan to return, at around 11:25 a.m., Granny said that she sent her husband in search of the girl.

According to Granny, he returned a short while after, saying that he had met the girl sitting in a vehicle with a man.

“He say he ask she if that’s what she grandmother sen’ she fo do,” Granny said, following which, her husband said that the girl ran off.

He chased her, but when he couldn’t keep up, he returned home.

The woman said that she and her husband left in search of the girl, and eventually, about 20 minutes later, they found her hiding.

They brought her home, and Granny said when they arrived, she instructed Susan to cook – a usual chore for the girl.

Susan agreed and went to the kitchen, the grandmother said.

“I went outside and lay under ah coconut tree,” the woman said.

But after a while, she said that she went to check on Susan and the progress of the pot.

She discovered that the girl had finished cooking, so she decided to dish out the food for the three occupants of the house.

However, the girl indicated that she did not want any food – but Granny said that she took some out for herself and went back outside under the tree.

“When me ah eat, me feel me eye dem come dark, dark,” the grandmother said.

“So me say, wha ah gwan?”

The woman said that she started sweating profusely and shaking.

She called to her husband, whom she said took her inside.

They met the girl sitting in the house, but they went into the bedroom, where Granny said she requested that her husband put her on the bed.

She said that she told her husband not to eat any of the food, as something was wrong with it, but a few minutes later, he too started getting sick, as he had already eaten some.

The man told his wife that he had been hungry and had to eat.

Susan fled the scene after the woman and her husband became ill.

The grandmother claims that the next day, she and her husband discovered the residue of a toxic substance they suspect the girl used in the food.

Granny said that she and her husband were admitted to the hospital, but were soon released and given a medical form to take to the police.

She admitted that she did not press charges, however, but asked the authorities to get the girl and take her off the streets. According to the grandmother, the girl was discovered and taken into police custody about two weeks after the incident.

But the police contacted the child’s biological mother, who did not take the child home with her, when they were allowed to leave the station, Granny said.

The grandmother said that the child went back on the street and she is now having problems getting the authorities to pick up her up again.

She alleged that there had been an altercation between her and an officer at the Stubbs Police Station, and she believes that is why the authorities are refusing to take the girl off the streets.

Granny told SEARCHLIGHT that she has since found out that the girl frequents an establishment in the area, where the proprietor influences her granddaughter, and other young girls, to come to the place of business, where they are often used to lure men and perform sexual favours for them.

The woman said that she has had custody of Susan since she was one year old, and has done all that she can for the girl.

Granny said Susan took a turn for the worse after she began secondary school.

The woman said that she made sure that her Susan was well prepared for school, but did not know what the girl, a first form student, was doing while she was supposed to be in class.

She said that she had received a call from the school and was informed about the child’s poor attendance.

Granny said that she was told that the girl would be led by older boys to go elsewhere to have sex with them, thereby showing up to late for school.

The concerned guardian said that she is pleading with the authorities to take the girl off the streets for fear that Susan may get pregnant, contract a sexually transmitted disease – or worse.