Across generations in this country, children have carried the weight of sexual abuse often by themselves.
While murders are often the most talked about crimes in The Bahamas, in recent years we have seen a spike in child sexual abuse cases.
We, the Coalition of Child Advocates, feel horrified, angry, and bewildered by the numerous accounts of child sexual abuse cases in recent days.
If this is not deemed a crisis, what is it?
Child sexual abuse thrives in an environment of denial, secrecy, and fear.
While it’s not healthy to expect the worst in people, child sexual abuse and boundary violations are on the rise in this country, happening from people we know and trust.
Oftentimes, child predators are rarely caught in the act of abusing a child. Most often, they are seen breaking the rules, and violating boundaries.
Abusers can be doctors, clergies, coaches, teachers, law officers, babysitters, relatives, wives, husbands, and strangers.
Child sexual abuse is preventable!
Adult education and empowerment are very important to protect children from sexual abuse.
Without empowerment and education, we can’t act.
Disclosure is a test of strength for families and communities. We can no longer turn a blind eye.
We must pay attention and take the risk to intercept dangerous behaviors, or even feeling uncomfortable.
It is crucial that we act proactively when making choices that will protect children in this country.
We must make a choice every day within our home or organization to protect a child from sexual abuse or potentially exposure to it.
To see a Bahamas free of child sexual abuse we must act responsibly, and make choices we’ve never taken before.
Enough is enough.
Child sexual abuse is a crime and is punishable by law!
If you see something, say something, do something.
If we don’t stop this, who will?
— Shervonne Hollis
President, Save Our Children Alliance
Certified Darkness to Light facilitator, child advocate