Socioeconomic Factors Contributing to Crime and Violence in Jamaica

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Jamaica is an English-speaking country located in the Caribbean Sea to the south of Cuba. Jamaica’s potential for growth and development is enormous; however, according to the World Bank Country (2003), as cited in Gilbert & Sookram (2009), measured Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth over the years since 1972 has been unimpressive. Apart from its economic problems, Jamaica has a serious problem with crime and violence. For years there have been numerous attempts, through policy and legislation, to reduce the level of crime in Jamaica. Based on international statistics, this is a country that has suffered from a high crime rate for years, being near the top of international homicide rate lists since the 1970’s (Gilbert & Sookram,…show more content…
According to Samms-Vaughn (2013), “Exposure to violence in childhood has been associated with aggressive and antisocial behaviour in childhood and with offending in adulthood.” For example: If a child has experienced child abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and domestic violence in their household or community, this exposure leads to aggressive behaviour in the future. It was some years ago there was a documentary on the television show, Dr. Phil, where a father kept his family isolated from society. He had only girls and he sexually abused the mother to her death. After which he started abusing the oldest of the four. She was then trained in his way to take care of her siblings and prepare one of her younger siblings on a weekly basis for his pleasure. Anyone who did not follow through with the rules would be punished. She was aiding and abetting, which is a crime, but to her, she was just obeying her father’s wishes. Years after, this story was highlighted and her younger siblings blamed her for the punishment she handed down in an uncivilized manner. She wept bitterly as she said she knew nothing else to do because that’s how she was raised.
On the other hand, children can become violent sexually because of respect for their elders. For example, a boy who looks up to a father who he hears throughout his childhood physically
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