Call to ‘break the silence’ on child abuse

UNICEF Regional Director Bernt Aasen
UNICEF Regional Director Bernt Aasen

United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Regional Director, Bernt Aasen, is calling on local communities on the island to step in and “break the silence” on child abuse.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday evening, Aasen said that despite Dominica’s ground breaking policies in education, enough is not being done about violence and sexual abuse against children.

He pointed out that there is a Caribbean-wide initiative called “Breaking the Silence” where communities are encouraged to take a stance and refuse to accept acts of sexual abuse or violence against children.

“The sexual abuse of children and violence against children that are taking place inside the homes, will not be prevented until the communities engage, and whenever there is a suspicion, they should break the silence and speak out,” he said.

He noted that often times the perpetrators are often someone very well known by the families and abuse taking place in private homes is a public concern.

Aasen stressed that adults have the responsibility to speak out and take action.

“The new protocols that have been passed by cabinet recognise the problem and open it up for discussion that will help prevent abuse,” he stated.

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12 Comments

  1. katolick
    April 11, 2013

    I hope the church hears that. They have been silent for decades! Let truth and justice prevail.

  2. born domincian
    April 11, 2013

    thank you bring that sunject to the front table becuase its been happpen in da for years iam 45 yrs old and will never forget it its happens for male and female and its people you know and is around the family too

  3. ;
    April 11, 2013

    do something

  4. k
    April 11, 2013

    i am so happy this topic is up because my sister is having nightmares the fact that her husband attempted to enter the child’s promise land. although she went to welfare but she also didn’t want to go thru the whole court process with the child knowing that the child is the one being most embarrased and she was also not willing to go. my concern is: isn’t welfare responsible for taking this matter to court whether the parent is interested or not? because too many times the mother covers the situation knowing that the children are left humiliated persons pointing finger “look de girl we her father did this and that to her’ i have heard snd seen these situations. so what really can b done ..what is welfare doing bout that how private can they make this for the children and mother to feel confident to come to them. and also when the workers know the man they tend to delay the process and do nothing bout the situation. our welfare division needs to create the atmosphere 4 parents and children to feel free to come to report, this is where the probs lie..and the people who r on counselling team some of them talk too much about the victims busineess to their friends.

    • Anonymous
      April 11, 2013

      Could not agree with you more

    • Student
      April 11, 2013

      This is so very sad. We are shooting ourselves in the leg. Until the children of some of these people who suppose to care begin to be bullied and abused by those same children the fail to protect then somebody will wake up and take this seriously. Too bad for us here. I have been the victim of one such person (she almost killed me) because she is such an angry person and it happened overseas at university. That is how far this thing can go. We need to get serious about serious things and welfare persons, counsellors and social workers must learn to keep their mouths shut(not talk the children’s business)so that the process can be facilitated.

  5. Anonymous
    April 11, 2013

    Abuse in all forms is bad and should not be tolerated. However, there is a trend in Dominica where the abuser leaves the state for some time and returns, but nothing is done upon the return. The abuser is seen freely walking in the streets yet the victim has to leave with the hurt and pain.

  6. Student
    April 11, 2013

    “The sexual abuse of children and violence against children that are taking place inside the homes,…

    He noted that often times the perpetrators are often someone very well known by the families and abuse taking place in private homes is a public concern.

    True true true!!! It is taking place within the homes – private homes. watch out for families that tend to isolate themselves from others or secretive!!! It is a sign

    And neighbors please please even if you just SUSPECT report it!!! We really need to come together to stop this thing. It is all of us business. Those abused children will grow up and become criminals and we will all be affected or they will end up in University with your children maybe as housemates and who knows what could happen to your child or children. I am talking from experience here. So it is all of us business. And I myself not afraid to talk. I have already reported a case will report any more…

  7. Thiny
    April 11, 2013

    first of all explain physical violence

    cause Dominicans believe that violence against kids is ok as long as you don’t kill a child or break their bone or cause significant damage to an organ…

    and verbal and emotional abuse is just as damaging

  8. love
    April 11, 2013

    That is so true. To many time kids are begin abuse and its under cover and nothing is not being done about it and it time we take action. About it. I was abuse. At 13 years at my mother home and she never believe a word that I said and I am 34 years now and its still troubles me

    • Waitukubuli-Original
      April 11, 2013

      I empathize with you. The first thought that came to mind when I read this was it starts with the mothers. They usually either notice it is happening, know that it is happen or were told that it is happening but usually deny because they “love” their man.

      It is very sad. When I was 12 in high school this pervert adult who at the time had children my age, would often make passes at me and every time that I see the man I would run in fear while in my uniform with my schoolbag hanging on my side. These are still happening and people think it is the norm.

      Instead of addressing it, the victim usually becomes the culprit.

    • concerned
      April 11, 2013

      not to late to take legal action. do something

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