Ram focuses on law enforcement issues

NFP provisional candidate Priyanka Ram. Picture: SUPPLIED

AS a youth candidate for the National Federation Party (NFP), Priyanka Ram hopes to push for improvements in investigative capabilities for law enforcement agencies that relate to child abuse and sexual offences.

Ms Ram is a provisional candidate for NFP for this year’s general election.

The social worker and humanitarian scholar said there was a real need to divert more resources and attention towards embedding more sensitivity when dealing with victims of crimes inflicted on young children or minors.

She said official spaces that received these cases needed safe zones that were separated from where older victims were interviewed.

“It’s a call for trained professionals, in the area of counselling and trauma care and management, to be central to the investigation teams,” Ms Ram said.

“There are also many cases involving street kids who become victims of sexual abuse who have no one to protect them and understandably it can become difficult for them to approach a police officer.

“There are many segments of our children that need so much attention and care; they too are our next generation of leaders.

“Juveniles and youth offenders, who are caught up on the wrong side of the law at that young age, also need help in transitioning back from a correction and remand centre environment, just as much as the adults do. Reintegrating them into society through rehabilitation is very important.”

Ms Ram said law enforcement officers also needed guidance and counselling when they dealt with emotional, violent and traumatic crimes.

“Often counselling and trauma are not part of the coping mechanisms given to law enforcement agencies, and that needs to change,” she added.

Ms Ram holds a Master’s Degree in social work, specialising in medical and psychiatry.