Did you know that in Grenada within the last year over 500 children were infected with STDs as a result of child sexual abuse? A staggering number for such a small nation which makes it even more devastating. There is very little distinction lately between mother and child (babies are making babies) which results in lack of good judgment and guidance (eg. mothers/guardians of victims are in-denial)
It’s a sick cycle of victimisation that’s heartbreaking yet conflicting because in most instances the perpetrators themselves were once victims. Also, there are so many laws in place that are not being enforced. It’s a combination of the different agencies (governmental and non-governmental) and the public not doing their due diligence. For example by not seeking alternative ways to accommodate victims instead of returning them to their homes with their abusers who are then murdered by said abuser like in the case of Britney Baptiste. And even if they are sent back to their homes the situation needs to be monitored! Now I am sympathetic to the fact that these agencies are stretched thin; limited man power, but that’s not acceptable we must do better. There are so many organisations dedicated to sexual violence (GNOW, GLACC, GNCRC, IADGO, GHRO) and together with the CPA, Ministry of Social Development and the RGPF I am confident they can find a way.
October is the month of the child and this year’s theme is ‘Sexual Abuse is Real. Protect Our Children’. In recognition of the theme, there are events being organised to bring awareness to sexual abuse, it’s detection and prevention. The Heal With Hope Foundation will be having an outdoor awareness concert and march on Friday the 28th October (Fish Friday) at the Cuthbert Peters Park from 6pm. The also march will start from the park to The L’anse following the concert. Optimum Entertainment in collaboration with Den Productions will also be having a walk entitled “Take A Stand” on Thursday October 20th at 11am from the Grand Anse basketball court to the Morne Rouge Playing Field. There will be 50 children from each primary school represented in the march as well as IMANI trainees.This will be preceded by a concert. Also, on November 1st at The Grenada Youth Center starting at 5pm, sexual abuse survivor Michelle Alexander will launch her book ‘Helpless Cries’; an account of her experiences.
You may know someone who is being sexually abused. Take a read and know the signs–>https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/child-sexual-abuse/signs-symptoms-effects/