STAY WELL & SPARKLE: Creating a more caring culture

ideaGraphic videos rocked the nation this week. In its wake: murderous threats and dancing on the graves of promising careers that vanished like a vapour. The Non-Governmental Coalition has been crying in the wilderness about this child abuse problem for sometime now. Suddenly, a little more than the tip of the iceberg has burst into the light of day. The good news is that there is no better time than now to wrest ourselves from the mire of gossip. We have no choice but to act now in order to transform Dominica. But how exactly do we do that?

First, let us survey the setting. The cat is out of the bag. Already, some are feeling the crushing weight of justice. Not much can be swept under the bed this time. Yet, according to unsubstantiated rumours, for the same violation, some are reportedly arrested while others are helicoptered out for stress. This better not be the case! Nevertheless, there’s lots of blame to go around, so why not start at the very beginning. A childhood experience may shed some light:

I’ll never forget how Dadai got me into the ‘blackbook’ at Grammar School. One afternoon, a gang of us were playing with the roller on the cricket pitch after the grounds-man had taken his precious time preparing it. The only person he recognized from a distance was that Christian boy. Next morning, the princi called me out at assembly to meet him in his office. Though trembling, I argued that it wasn’t me alone therefore, I was not going to take the caning. At the same time, I absolutely refused to sell out my friends. So I walked out of school and announced my decision to my father at the Fire Brigade. Well, who tell me to say that?! He marched me right back to school to “take my punishment like a man.”

How do parents today react when their student gets into trouble? More often than not, they storm in, to confront the teachers or bombard Ministry of Education with complaints. TV and video games babysit their children and discipline is left for the schools. The common thread among children who get into such scandals is no chores, no curfew, no monitoring of homework, no dress code.

Do parents ask their daughters where that latest model cell phone came from? It’s 99 nights for the thief, one for the watchman. One day you must get caught. Women at the bread shop who saw the videos were harshest in their criticism. They loudly contended no way it could have been the first time, given the young lady’s techniques and private appearance. Single mothers are known to use their daughters as honey traps for men of weak judgement. But at the end of the day, this is still a child that has been taken advantage of.

Of course, the predators have no excuse. Thank God this scourge is nothing like the level of sex tourism inflicted upon youth in places such as Thailand and the Philippines. But should we also think about the families of accused? The economic loss is profound. Powerful men have strong impulse to buy off and/or explode on others who they perceive as selling them out. There is an equally scary inclination to implode and end the embarrassment once and for all. Loved ones must encourage guilty parties to take their punishment like a man. At the same time, they need to build a firm hedge of support around them to salvage much of the residual good in that family.

We all make mistakes. This article is certainly not about throwing the first stone. It is a call to redemption, mindful that no matter how severe the crisis, this too shall past. We have to drum it into our heads that there are certain red lines in the sand that grown men dare not cross. When a pardna, or our ‘little brain’ hisses, “Damn! This chick is hot!” Our ‘big brain’ should be thinking, “Ailas. She could be my daughter.”

Many take perverse pleasure in such scandals to the extent that it validates their apocalyptic beliefs. The church is increasingly becoming place of escape instead of a sanctuary to recharge and go forth to impact the culture.

Will this development have any bearing on the “rapist ministers” lawsuit? There have been casualties aplenty and potentially more to come. Will we continue to tear into each other for that pound of flesh, or will we go back to our neutral corners and think this through? Politicians are consumed with getting advantage for next election. Statesmen are consumed about securing advantage for the next generation. Statesmen mentor and make preparation for the youth, not prey upon them. Development is too precious a thing to leave entirely in the hands of politicians; so what is our responsibility?

Dr. Sam Christian
Dr. Sam Christian

This great downfall should spur responsible citizens into service organizations. Let us form a national PTA association. Parents and teachers must speak with one powerful voice on matters that affect our kids. Give your strong support the Non-Governmental Coalition for the Prevention of Abuse of Children. Any child can make use of the Cadet Handbook as a guide for wholesome conduct.

https://rebuilddominica.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cadetshandbook-7.pdf

I myself, I am tired of urging the use of rape kits to bring Dominica up to international standards. I am going to secure and distribute kits so the prosecution does not have to depend on hearsay. The legal process should not be a second victimization. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion. Sadly, he is doing some serious devouring as we speak. We create a more caring culture as we explore more proactive ways of inculcating good ideas into the heads of our children.

Maj. Sam Christian in a syndicated columnist on health-related development issues. He is the medical officer of the Dominica Cadet Corps. He can be reached at 767 440-9133 on by clicking on http://urgentcareda.weebly.com

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7 Comments

  1. March 7, 2016

    Change the law and say there is no prescription for sexual crime no matter even though it happened 100 years ago ,,,let wait and see how many more will fall…

  2. looking
    March 7, 2016

    I remember growing up, If i got into a fight in school, as soon as i reach home, blows!. I could have been passing and got hit, no questions asked, blows!. It taught me a lesson for life for which i am thankful for today. As mentioned previously there has been a serious progressive decay in society but now its in free fall. This could be the beginning of the end. Because some people who may go down will not go down alone. If we were to do an honest audit of the problems we have in society, we will be appalled. Heads would roll, marriages would be in shambles. There is a lot under those pretty smiles and there are those who are masters at “impression management”. In times like this we need strong leaders because leadership is everything and leadership is exemplary.

  3. woooti
    March 7, 2016

    Amen.. well said Doc

  4. Jaime Lewis
    March 7, 2016

    Here are some additional approaches to the problem of child abuse in our society:
    1. Education is key: there must be a national curriculum taught in every grade, age appropriate of course, that addresses the topic of abuse.
    2. No high school student may graduate without having taken a course in the 5th form on the topic of sexual abuse/domestic violence/teen rape/healthy relationships.
    3. No student may graduate from the State College without having taken a course on abuse in all its forms that certifies that individual to be a mandatory reporter of abuse.
    4. Every teacher, policeman, nurse, priest, social worker, counselor, attorney, politician must take that college level course and be a certified mandatory reporter.
    5. Any mandatory reporter who does not report a case of child abuse will be held criminally responsible by law subject to a fine.
    6. There must be a door to door campaign educating the populace about the impact of child abuse, particularly sexual abuse.
    NGO we…

  5. For a Caring Community
    March 6, 2016

    Back when Dominica had movie houses the crowd would roar during the fight scenes and shout “higas!” That seems mostly the attitude with the scandal surrounding the arrest of prominent locals, in and out of government, for sex abuse. Instead of simply relishing the downfall of the high and mighty it would be wise for us to organize to build a more educated, aware, competent and caring society. The savagery visited on children by abusers is only of slightly different variety we dish out every day in the robbery, uncouth behavior and corruption too many uphold. Time for a change Dominica. Take away the endless sex, and sewo and knock some sense into our /your heads. As Dr Sam said, we can start with a National PTA so teachers and parents can work to advance and better protect our students. Well said doc!

  6. March 6, 2016

    I too support the idea of a national PTA and I WILL EVEN GO FURTHER to suggest that we reorganize the Dominica Defence Force . opportunities should be given to our young cadets who would like to have a military career and who would like to continue with the good life of discipline. there are many fields in which a neww DDF could train and equip our young people for the future.

  7. pic Sqiare
    March 6, 2016

    He who is without sin cast the first stone. And mothers, warn your children…..This is not a girl thing alone it is also a boy thing. When your children come home with stuff don’t rest until you find out from them where they got it from. And you guys out there, think of your daughter, would you like someone to do that to her at 15 years? This is so sad.

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