“No excuse for child abuse” march

A section of the march with the Min. of Social Services and Gender Affairs in the thick of things.
A section of the march with the Min. of Social Services and Gender Affairs in the thick of things.

Over one hundred voices could be heard from a distance long before the bearers of those voices appeared, chanting , “No excuse for child abuse” in their attempt on Saturday, to put a stop to the various forms of abuse against children.

The procession, which began at the Pottersville Savannah and ended at the E.C Loblack bridge saw the young, old, and middle aged either joining in the march or looking from their doorways and windows with the occasional female on-looker adding her voice and raising her hands in solidarity.

Among the marchers, was social services minister, Gloria Shillingford, who explained to reporters, her reason for joining the match.

“I am a very proud person here this morning to be joining with the parents, other staff of the Ministry of social services, community services and gender affairs, and also the welfare division to say loud and clear to Dominica and to the world that there is no excuse for child abuse,” she said. “…And we are not taking hush money we need to protect our children they are our future, they are our present and they are our heritage …we are not taking any excuse for child abuse,” she declared.

Earlier this week, in an interview with DNO, Coordinator of The Child Abuse Prevention Unit, Gemma Azile-Lewis, said child sexual abuse is one of the most frequently reported cases of abuse among children in Dominica.

“From the point of the reported cases, children do suffer all the forms of abuse… but the form of abuse which is more highly reported is sexual abuse in our children and that includes sexual abuse of both boys and girls,” she said.

According to Azille-Lewis, the march on Saturday is part of the on-going battle against these types of abuse.

“Well today we are having a march against child abuse, child violence, denouncing violence against children… all the different forms of abuse. Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect and abandonment of our children and we are saying that it is time that we as a public, take a stand about it. It is our children, our priority and we need to protect them now,” she urged.

She said that society needed to intensify efforts protect our children against all different forms of abuse and “we are sending a message out to the abusers that we are not going to take these things lightly. It is time that they stop, whoever they are, stop abusing our children”.

Azille-Lewis had a strong message for those parents, who she said, still do not follow up on the reported cases. “And we are telling them that this is not the way; hush money is not the answer and we are saying that it is time that child abuse should stop in our country, in Dominica”.

Participants in the march included the Kiwanis Club, Operation Youth Quake, Ministry of Education, CARIMAN and CARICOM Youth Ambassadors.

Below are some photos of the march.

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  1. Dominican
    November 26, 2013

    Let us as a nation address all forms of abuse. Ie the sexual side of things, emotional, physical,and financial. Let us act as responsible adults and protect those who need protecting.
    Please Gov stand up for the less able.

  2. thiny
    November 25, 2013

    keep on marching, and keep beating your kids with whips and leather belts…keep giving them punches in their backs…in Dominica this is not considered child abuse….the is pain and brutalization the highest degree and those in authority are allowing it to happen…..

    a man can’t hit his wife with a leather belt he can’t use guava and hibiscus whips to hit her but it can be done to a poor defenseless child….

    bunch of wicked hypocrite people…………

  3. Looking in
    November 25, 2013

    Parents who are taking “hush” money should be held liable as well. They are just as bad as those abusing the children.

  4. syl
    November 25, 2013

    It was about time someone stand up for abuse children. In many cases some mothers are to be blamed cause their husbands or boyfriends abuse their kids justs to avoid losing these bastards they sweep it under the mat. In some cases if this child dont get proper counselling is scared for life. Please people help the children.

  5. Day Day
    November 25, 2013

    One of the reasons why the abusers don’t face justice is because they are Mr. This and Mr. That. And to know that because he is the friend of the police, they will warn them before making an arrest. What I like about American system, no matter who you are and you break the law, they lock you up. In Dominica if you have surname, you can commit any crime and get away with it, especially sexual abuse.

    all i know a crime is a crime.

  6. November 25, 2013

    Im very proud of the people in D/A for taking a stand,As a victims myself growing up in dominica we have come a long way but by gods grace we will get there,We may not be able to save everyone but if one can be save it worth the match.I love u my Dominica.

  7. Man on the Ground
    November 25, 2013

    if we dose not portect our kids from these monster out there, this will just be another march in the wrong direction.

  8. Dominican
    November 25, 2013

    Judges and Magistrates need to take the matter seriously and address it in the right manner. In recent cases I found that they are too lenient with the alledge perpetrators.
    Also there should be a sex register so that those who abuse children will automatically be put on the list to pre warn unsuspecting persons.
    Dominica welfare Board needs to rise up and fight for these children and young adults. The gov needs to pump more money in the children dept.

  9. Anonymous
    November 24, 2013

    People need to realise there are many types of abuse. Sexual is one of many and yes it may be seen as one of the most distressing, but they all need eradicating. Shouting and screaming at a child is still child abuse, roughing them up, blows like tower, threatening them, bullying, blackmailing,torture whether physical or psychological, etc.

  10. jane messam
    November 24, 2013

    hMinister action needed immediately. Lock up the evil men and women and throw away the key. Most of the children who are abused know the abuser. Most of the time it is family members and family friends who does these disgusting acts and sadly they are getting away with it.

    • December 29, 2014

      And in many cases there is somebody who knows the abuse is taking place.

      They say nothing because (a) the abuser is a relative and they don’t want to be in the middle of a family mess, (b) the offender is a “live in” husband or boyfriend who is paying the bills, (c) they are receiving hush money, or gifts from the offender, or (d) they are afraid to get involved because the accuser may change his or her story, or the accused may retaliate. (e) They do not want to get involved in a court room drama, etc.

      These are issues that need to be worked on. A support system must be put in place that make it easier for those who know of abuse taking place to come forward. But there should certainly be a law in every nation making it mandatory for any person who knows sexual child abuse has taken place – or is taking place – to report it immediately to the police. There can be no exceptions.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International Evangelist.

  11. Love I
    November 24, 2013

    This is all messed up, Stronger Laws has to be implemented….Welfare Officers are supposed to be giving talks at all schools and give them numbers so they can call….these children are afraid to open up to certain persons…Help Them…

    • Yup
      November 25, 2013

      Welfare Officers do give talks to primary and secondary schools and also do pre school drives as well.

  12. I smell a rat
    November 24, 2013

    We can march as much as we want but unless the authorities bring child molesters before the court and charge them. they just burning fat, which is a good exercise. Mrs. Gloria Shillingford must stop playing that Nicodemus game as the minister responsible, and see to it that justice is served to everyone that is guilty of molesting our young people, whether they are cabinet ministers or just some hungry dogs out there.

  13. November 24, 2013

    Big up to the Organizers.This overseas GB man likes that.

  14. November 24, 2013

    That’s what i am talking about.Nice to see a big marching crowd in the capital.Wozo.

  15. FIRE........FIRE....
    November 24, 2013

    These abuse happens world wide, but if we can start protecting and educating our kids in our own back yard Dominica, alleluia. If we are able to save one child praise God..because abuse children can grow up to be MAJOR future problems…may the abuse be sexual or other wise…and in the mind of the abused child they were at fault..The problem sometimes starts with step parents, they know that their child is being abused by their so call partners, at times they see the signs, they see the acts, but they blame the child, cause they do not want to destroy their so called relationship, instead they kick out that abused child, keep their MAN/WOMAN to search for his/her next victim..which I consider to be volunteered slavery, for their next victim could be in waiting, another sibling…The abused child is homeless may even be pregnant the cycle continues…and mamma and papa walks down the streets hand in hands grinning their teeth, but not all grin teeth that is smile…

    I would like to think that the situation is getting better compare to yesterday because TEACHES TO ME WERE THE BIGGEST ABUSERS IN DOMINICA…KIDS WENT TO SCHOOL IN FARE….

  16. yes
    November 24, 2013

    how this walk from village to village should eradicate child abuse? can someone simply explain how it should work?….so tomorrow child abusers will be scarred because of some group of people marched through the village? seriously?

    • tsk!
      November 25, 2013

      people you need to educate yourselves and stop making stupid ignorant comments, haven’t you ever heard of the Civil Rights March on Washington?well in 1963 some 250,000 people along with Martin Luther King Jr walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. They marched for jobs and for freedom.i don’t know about you but don’t you believe that this march through the streets helped with their plight? quit being negative and support a good cause.

      • December 29, 2014

        Every person marching in a parade is a potential vote for politicians. If enough people turn out to represent a cause your government people are certainly taking note.

        The people who make our laws and rule our countries do take notice of such a parade.

        Added to this is the fact that parades representing such things as the need for social assistance, a change in the law, or better enforcement draws the attention of people to the situation and raises awareness. This results in people taking action.

        A good parade can be followed by a strong written petition carrying thousands of signatures and delivered to the appropriate politician. Do not accept an answer like “Thank you for your interest. We will be giving this our consideration.” You have a right to know WHEN it will be considered, and HOW they will inform you of what they will do about it.

        Don’t be alone. Let the media know about your efforts. Get them to come aboard.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. International |Evangelist.

    • tsk!
      November 25, 2013

      only when it happens to us or our child or relative we just see the necessity.stop being negative and acting like a sheep and support a worthy cause.

    • Nestyy
      November 25, 2013

      It is a start for us. The more individuals who are sensitized about child abuse and its impact, the greater the possibility of reporting cases to the Division. We may not be able to prevent EVERY case of abuse however we can help a lot! Its a community effort not just the social welfare division…we need all hands on deck

  17. Florence
    November 24, 2013

    Thjs is the beginning of child abuse eradication….May this type of protests continue UNTIL these abusers STOP their horrendous acts against our future, our children.. NO HUSH MONEY ! ! ! !… STOP CHILD ABUSE NOW

  18. syl
    November 24, 2013

    This was a very good idea protect the child with this people will know how serious social services is against child abuse. I glad this is happening because too many little girls are being sexually buse by grown men.Good job to all who participated.

  19. Day Day
    November 24, 2013

    It is time for them to persicute child molesters, and the parents who condone it by accepting hush money. There are too many children suffering emotional problems as a result. Most children carry this “DEMON” and never speak about it because of shame.

    I am a victim of child sexual abuse. I suffered for years, got pregnant as a result, and people though I was playing saint and having sex. How I used to cry secretly because as a child I did not know who to tell. I thought my parents would beat me if I told them.

    Children need to be taught that if someone does that to them they can go to the police on their own. There are people in high offices who molest children, people who are supposed to protect them. It is time to put a stop to child sexual abuse in this country. I wish I was there to lift my voice to let those Boowo know that their moment of pleasure destroys a child’s life.

    I want to applaud Jemma for working so hard in sensatizing the public. And I wish some victims would come out, so that more people will be encouraged. Jemma, when I come to Dominica I will be coming to your office to see what I can do to help. I am not afraid to give my testimony on what happened to me from the age of 7 or 8, till I turned 16.

  20. D/can to de Bone (F)
    November 24, 2013

    It time government put place laws to deal with those who abuse childen in any form. To much talk speeches and matches in Dominica against child abuse but there is no evidence of legislation in place to deal with the abuses of children.The minster of gender, social welfare Department youth and women councils and others in society need to act quick to stop these abuse which is going on in Dominica . The Prime minister you need to declare war on abusers like the toilet latrine in Dominica.

    Once these laws are in place the police can take action once the abusers are identify.abuse surface and alos children should be removed from parents who condone these abuses and also who neglect there children.

    Social Welfare should asked people to come forward and train them to be forster parents to have children in safe homes and enviornment once abuses can be identify.. all these ned to be put in law. DOMINICA TIME TO ACT WE ARE TO SLOW WHILE OUR CHILDREN A RE SUFFERING DUE TO ABUSE

  21. Friend
    November 24, 2013

    Isnt Gloria and the welfare the ones who should be enacting and enforcing change?

    Why are they the ones marching and why? I would like to know what was achieved by this walk today.

    The welfare division and the minister is all talk and no action – for too long now you all have been talking now is time to act not WALK!!!!

    • Annon
      November 24, 2013

      They are reising awareness and asking for help from the general public. It’s good strategy. They just need to give the laws some teeth. serious teeth.

      • Annon
        November 24, 2013

        Typo…raising awareness.

    • forreal
      November 24, 2013

      got your point,but if these secretive happenings are not reported,their is nothing that no amount of law enacted or enforced can be executed.

    • Nestyy
      November 25, 2013

      smh at some of my fellow Dominicans…with people like you i wonder what will happen to our Dominican youth…cudos to Honourable Shillingford and the Staff of the Social Welfare Division…continue the good work

  22. kunoo mounoo
    November 24, 2013

    child abuse must be a social no no,way too much of this is going on in DA.

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