Growing violent crimes in Jamaica

ANTHROPOLOGIST Dr. Herbert Gayle says abused boys account for more than half the number of men who murder or commit violent crimes in Jamaica.

At the same time, Dr. Gayle, who lectures at The University of the West Indies, posited that a breakdown in the relationship between mothers and their sons is the main reasons that boys join gangs.

“The strongest bond between any two human beings is between a mother and her son. It is important that you recognize the kind of power that you have,” he told his audience at a series of fora focusing on ‘Safety and Security’ organized by the Jamaica National Group for its members and other citizens.

“Women, I am charging you; you have to get up and begin to protect your sons, otherwise we are not coming out of this. The number one reason boys join gangs is that they have a problem with their mothers,” Dr Gayle said, noting that the finding is not unique to Jamaica but spans several Latin America and Caribbean countries, which, as a region, is responsible for 40 percent of global murders.

Referencing a study conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund some years ago, Dr Gayle said more emphasis needs to be placed on nurturing boys to avert their regression into a life of violence. However, he also stressed that more needs to be done to protect women from abuse.

“… Abused boys account for 53 percent of murderers in Jamaica,” he stated, underscoring that violence is a symptom of societal ills. “Fifty-three percent of murders in Jamaica are done by someone who is a repeat killer, and repeat killers are [often] traumatized boys who come from traumatized mothers.”

He said that much of the country’s violence is caused by mental problems, and many people are not willing to help children in need

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