Several schools along the Western coast of Dominica will on Friday be taking part in a rally to voice discontent on child sexual abuse.
The rally is the first of its kind but the second Child Sexual abuse campaign by the Isaiah Thomas Secondary School (ITSS).
Pastoral Care Coordinator at ITSS and one of the organizers of the rally, Glenora Pacquette, said the St. Joseph Seventh Day Adventist High School, St. Joseph Junior School, Salisbury Primary School, Massacre Primary School and Pierre Charles Secondary will be taking part in the event.
“This year we are taking it into the village of St. Joseph and we have networked with a few other schools on the western district,” She said. “The last few months we have been hearing about child sexual abuse in the media. It really breaks our heart and our young people are being affected by it.”
She stated the decision was made to have the schools’ voices heard.
“We need to speak about it, we need to talk to our parents, our guardians, those people who are involved in student’s care and welfare,” she pointed out.
According to Pacquette, another objective of the rally is to encourage people to speak about what is going on in terms of sexual abuse.
“We also want people to know that if you know about child sexual abuse you should really come out and defend our young children,” she stated. “We should not keep silent on the ills of child sexual abuse.”
When asked whether abuse is a problem in the school or the nearby community, she said she cannot identify a specific case but pointed out “it is good to sensitize our young people and the public on the ills of child sexual abuse.”
The event is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am with a march from the school into the village of St. Joseph.
It will culminate in the community and where there will be addresses by Thomas Holmes, Chairman of CARIMAN and Delia Cuffy-Weekes, among others.
“We hope that the parents and guardians in the village, and our children, not just at the ITSS, can be more sensitized on child sexual abuse,” Pacquette stated.