Schools take on child sexual abuse

Photo credit: www.coe.int
Photo credit: www.coe.int

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.

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10 Comments

  1. March 13, 2015

    The issue of child sexual abuse (CSA) is more widespread that we are often willing to admit. The phrase, “what happens in this house stays in this house” is often unspoken but very clear to our children. In order to address this issue, it is important to first educate parents, teachers and other community leaders about CSA. That includes how to respond to disclosures, the traumatic effect on a child and the risk factors. The problem often times is that many adults have been abused as children and have suppressed it due to the discomfort concerning this issue. The cycle only continues the more we ignore what is right before us. It’s time to take the blinders off and hold these perpetrators accountable. As a clinical Therapist, the other issue that I often see gets overlooked is for example a 14 yo boy having sexual relations with an adult 18 years or older. This too is CSA! Let’s bring more awareness to CSA and give our children a voice. They are counting on us!

  2. June 9, 2014

    The problem exists in many nations where DNO is read and is not uniquely a Dominican problem. I am addressing the problem as it exists in Canada (my own country) and elsewhere.

    Probably no institution is better positioned to deal with child abuse than the school. Those working in the educational field who are willing give time to combat the problem are to be commended.

    In the schools the children should be instructed to be “street smart”. This means to not accept a ride with a stranger OR go near a vehicle to talk to a stranger who may call them. It means to not go anywhere unknown with a stranger. It means not to go to the home of a stranger, a teacher, or even a church worker without permission from their parents.

    Most child abuse is committed by people known to the child.; a relative, neighbor, or person in a position of trust. Parents, be careful who you let babysit your children. Sleepovers can be a lot of fun for the kids but be sure
    you know where they are going and who is in charge. Don’t let anybody you don’t know well take your child/children camping or on any other “outing”.

    Incidences of abuse can occur when parents roll their kids off on somebody else to provide them with the good times the parents themselves should be providing. Often it can be blamed on poor parenting. Ask yourself “How well do I know this person?” and “Does he seem TOO willing to take the child?”

    Parents should instruct their children when they are very young that they are to tell them if anybody touches them inappropriately.

    Students should know who to report to in the school if anybody violates them this way. It could be a designated teacher, the principle, a school nurse, or a guidance counselor.

    If a child reports an incident do NOT let him or her think you do NOT believe them! Children seldom make these things up. Never say “I don’t believe you” or “I think you are making this up”. On he contrary most cases go unreported because children are afraid to tell anybody.

    If it seems like a true report and the child is unwavering after a few questions it should be reported to the police. Do not confront the accused. If the case involves a priest you do not need the bishop’s permission to report it to the police. He would probably try to stop you from reporting it to the police. This must not be allowed. It is a police matter.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist. Pastoral Counselor. http://www.livinghopeministries.ca

  3. June 9, 2014

    The problem exists in many nations where DNO is read and is not uniquely a Dominican problem. I am addressing the problem as it exists in Canada (my own country) and elsewhere.

    Probably no institution is better positioned to deal with child abuse than the school. Those working in the educational field who are willing give time to combat the problem are to be commended.

    In the schools the children should be instructed to be “street smart”. This means to not accept a ride with a stranger OR go near a vehicle to talk to a stranger who may call them. It means to not go anywhere unknown with a stranger. It means not to go to the home of a stranger, a teacher, or even a church worker without permission from their parents.

    Most child abuse is committed by people known to the child.; a relative, neighbor, or person in a position of trust. Parents, be careful who you let babysit your children. Sleepovers can be a lot of fun for the kids but be sure
    you know where they are going and who is in charge. Don’t let anybody you don’t know well take your child/children camping or on any other “outing”.

    Incidences of abuse can occur when parents roll their kids off on somebody else to provide them with the good times the parents themselves should be providing. Often it can be blamed on poor parenting. Ask yourself “How well do I know this person?” and “Does he seem TOO willing to take the child?”

    Parents should instruct their children when they are very young that they are to tell them if anybody touches them inappropriately.

    Students should know who to report to in the school if anybody violates them this way. It could be a designated teacher, the principle, a school nurse, or a guidance counselor.

    If a child reports an incident do NOT let him or her think you do NOT believe them! Children seldom make these things up. Never say “I don’t believe you” or “I think you are making this up”. On he contrary most cases go unreported because children are afraid to tell anybody.

    If it seems like a true report and the child is unwavering after a few questions it should be reported to the police. Do not confront the accused. If the case involves a priest you do not need the bishop’s permission to report it to the police. He would probably try to stop you from reporting it to the police. This must not be allowed. It is a police matter.

    Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist. Pastoral Counselor. http://www.livinghopeministries.ca

    of the bishop

  4. Roseau
    May 22, 2014

    Good move . There should be offices where kids go to talk about their abuse.

  5. oh
    May 21, 2014

    Young persons have to be able to trust their teachers too and go to them when things happen…a lot of parents especially mothers do not take these children seriously….and Welfare have to look at homes where parents are alcoholics, because brothers abuse brothers also and children are beaten badly for no reason, its not only Sex abuse but physical and emotional too..

    • truth be told
      May 22, 2014

      first they have to be able to trust their parents/ family members, then the police and the ones in high society…. and then the teachers….

      • truth be told
        May 22, 2014

        not forgetting that they have to act like young persons not prostitutes that their parents have turned them into with their ways, dressing and ways!!!!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. whydoweblameeveryone
    May 21, 2014

    This is a very good venture and i hope the parents are allowed to come and listen to what these young people have to say. Because most of the youth that a sexually abuse are abuse by the one that should be there protectors and therefore because of shame, fear of abandonment, further abuse and the need to keep the secret safe because of the fret that is associated with if you tell, our youth a silently being sexually abuse. Therefore i am hoping that our parents will be able to hear and through this forum understand and look for the signs of abuse in our children boys and girls alike. Remember our children are our future let provide for them a safe haven where they can entrust us with their problem and save them from further hurt. One love.

    • whydoweblameeveryone
      May 21, 2014

      spelling error. [there] should be their*

  7. Bull Crap
    May 21, 2014

    Finally someone with a clear mind that actually wants to make a difference. I may not be with you cause am away but my prays and heart will be…Keep of fighting a good fight for the most precious assets on any country.

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