A number of Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) have joined forces to champion the fight against child abuse.
On Wednesday morning, the Dominica NGO Coalition for protection of children and youth in Dominica was officially launched.
Speaking at the launching Chairman of the NGO coalition, Thomas Holmes, explained that the group was formed because of the alarming number of cases of child abuse in Dominica.
“We came about because of so many things happening to our young people and they need protection and guidance. Our children need voices and the NGO Coalition is just one of the voices coming out for them,” he said. “We exist because we realize that over 490 child sexual abuse cases were reported in Dominica between 2009 and 2012.”
Holmes remarked that the predominant type of child sexual abuse in Dominica are incest, exploitative sexual acts between adult men and underage boys with the predominant activities being unlawful carnal knowledge, touching and fondling, oral sex, anal sex and viewing of pornographic material.
He stated further that the coalition will work based on the statistics.
“The coalition felt that this needs to be the turning point where we lead and mobilize a systematic change for all children and youth to be free from violence in Dominica,” he noted. “Our vision statements states to promote a Dominica where children and youth are free from all forms of violence and exploitation.”
According to Holmes the NGO coalition intend to become champions for survivors, protectors of the innocent and seekers of justice, raisers of awareness.
“We will support whatever is existing so we are not thinking of reinventing the will. The issues around child protection in Dominica are too varied and critical to be tackled by one entity. We should all come together to address this and then the bigger the force the greater impact that we will have,” he said.
The who make up the coalition include the Dominica National Council of Women, Caribbean Male Action Network (CARIMAN), Childfund Caribbean, Lifeline Ministries, Love One Teach One Foundation, West Dominica Children’s Federation, East Dominica Children’s Federation, The National Youth Council, Dominica Planned Parenthood Association, AGANAR Program, Dominica Olympic Committee, Dominica Association of Disabled Persons, Caribbean HIV and AIDS Alliance.