Categorized | Editorial, News

The sexually abused carry lifetime scars, especially when they are victimised

Editorial – October 30, 2015 :

For many years there have been attempts to put in place safeguards and protection for women and children, and recently strides were made to put in place “A child protection/safeguarding policy”, which according to a Report which included Montserrat, produced by the Lucy Faith Foundation, “is currently in place and being implemented.”

That report was the culmination of cooperation and many initiatives of, along with international partners, the UK through its Department for International Development (DfID), and the Overseas Territories, CARICOM, OECS, and UNICEF.

The Lucy Faith Foundation report provoked surprise, and highlighted an attitude by former Governor Davis, and by extension DFID and GoM (Government of Montserrat) towards the media in Montserrat, and particularly The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) an attitude that spreads throughout. It is one that has resulted in important information, educational and otherwise not making its reach as it should into civil society, that critical mass. Either prominent media is ignored, whether snubbed and/or most importantly, not supported, the result of course the further perpetration of ignorance with sickening results.

The report noted that government in trying to keep up its promises to work in the interest of safeguarding and protecting children. It had for a few years introduced legislation which it called the ‘Child Justice Bill’. It came as a result of providing, “…that in all actions and decisions made pursuant to the provisions of the Bill concerning a child, the safety, welfare and well-being of the child shall be of paramount consideration,…”

There has been legislation with implications for the Rights of the Child – the Status of Children Act 2012; and among others, “an amendment to the Penal Code Cap 04.02. The Penal Code has been amended to insert a part labeled, “Sexual Exploitation” with Section 138B headed “dealing in people under 18 for sexual exploitation.”

The report is fairly extensive though by no means exhaustive in accuracy, or the requirements of making the intentions meaningful and effective. The reason for this is the result again of not meeting stakeholders, important and interested parties while meeting those with a tendency many of whom think they do the island an injustice to tell the truth about the realities and weaknesses that abound.

Missing too, is one very important component of effectively taking abuse, in particular sexual, to a proper or effective conclusion. Even the police agree that a special unit with special training is needed to deal with such matters. This in fact holds good for all sexual abuse, domestic violence included for ALL, particularly adult women. Above all there is nothing in place to assist and protect the victims of sexual abuse and those who are brave enough to report problems.

This is a huge problem as the stats will show when taken pro-rata. Mrs. Sujue Davis when she was celebrated on International Women’s Day, March 2014, recognised, called for change and celebrated acts of courage and determination. She reflected and encouraged women and girls with a call for education, “…Education helps girls and women who know their worth and to gain the confidence to claim them,” she declared.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) speaking about Women’s Empowerment and Protection records, “Violence against women is one of the most widespread of human rights abuses. One out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime… Survivors often suffer further victimization by family and society.”

“The consequences of violence against women are debilitating and many,” the IRC says. It works to break this cycle of violence by helping survivors to heal, delivering care to victims of sexual assault,

That is very important and should be worked on immediately if there is any honest intention to ‘Break the Silence’ which will not happen until that vital support and protection is offered to those who muster the bravery in the first instance.

The problem today is practised and real in several ways in Montserrat. IRC says, “The psychological and social consequences are devastating, as the prevailing stigma associated with sexual violence often leaves women isolated and increasingly vulnerable. The trauma a survivor experiences goes beyond her own suffering, also rendering great costs to her family and community.”

Again we say, this is very true and real and is an unattended to serious issue, which cannot be excluded from any effort to curb sexual violence against children and women.

Some say it is cultural, but the truth is that there is bad culture that needs to change.

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Editorial – October 30, 2015 :

For many years there have been attempts to put in place safeguards and protection for women and children, and recently strides were made to put in place “A child protection/safeguarding policy”, which according to a Report which included Montserrat, produced by the Lucy Faith Foundation, “is currently in place and being implemented.”

That report was the culmination of cooperation and many initiatives of, along with international partners, the UK through its Department for International Development (DfID), and the Overseas Territories, CARICOM, OECS, and UNICEF.

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The Lucy Faith Foundation report provoked surprise, and highlighted an attitude by former Governor Davis, and by extension DFID and GoM (Government of Montserrat) towards the media in Montserrat, and particularly The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) an attitude that spreads throughout. It is one that has resulted in important information, educational and otherwise not making its reach as it should into civil society, that critical mass. Either prominent media is ignored, whether snubbed and/or most importantly, not supported, the result of course the further perpetration of ignorance with sickening results.

The report noted that government in trying to keep up its promises to work in the interest of safeguarding and protecting children. It had for a few years introduced legislation which it called the ‘Child Justice Bill’. It came as a result of providing, “…that in all actions and decisions made pursuant to the provisions of the Bill concerning a child, the safety, welfare and well-being of the child shall be of paramount consideration,…”

There has been legislation with implications for the Rights of the Child – the Status of Children Act 2012; and among others, “an amendment to the Penal Code Cap 04.02. The Penal Code has been amended to insert a part labeled, “Sexual Exploitation” with Section 138B headed “dealing in people under 18 for sexual exploitation.”

The report is fairly extensive though by no means exhaustive in accuracy, or the requirements of making the intentions meaningful and effective. The reason for this is the result again of not meeting stakeholders, important and interested parties while meeting those with a tendency many of whom think they do the island an injustice to tell the truth about the realities and weaknesses that abound.

Missing too, is one very important component of effectively taking abuse, in particular sexual, to a proper or effective conclusion. Even the police agree that a special unit with special training is needed to deal with such matters. This in fact holds good for all sexual abuse, domestic violence included for ALL, particularly adult women. Above all there is nothing in place to assist and protect the victims of sexual abuse and those who are brave enough to report problems.

This is a huge problem as the stats will show when taken pro-rata. Mrs. Sujue Davis when she was celebrated on International Women’s Day, March 2014, recognised, called for change and celebrated acts of courage and determination. She reflected and encouraged women and girls with a call for education, “…Education helps girls and women who know their worth and to gain the confidence to claim them,” she declared.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) speaking about Women’s Empowerment and Protection records, “Violence against women is one of the most widespread of human rights abuses. One out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime… Survivors often suffer further victimization by family and society.”

“The consequences of violence against women are debilitating and many,” the IRC says. It works to break this cycle of violence by helping survivors to heal, delivering care to victims of sexual assault,

That is very important and should be worked on immediately if there is any honest intention to ‘Break the Silence’ which will not happen until that vital support and protection is offered to those who muster the bravery in the first instance.

The problem today is practised and real in several ways in Montserrat. IRC says, “The psychological and social consequences are devastating, as the prevailing stigma associated with sexual violence often leaves women isolated and increasingly vulnerable. The trauma a survivor experiences goes beyond her own suffering, also rendering great costs to her family and community.”

Again we say, this is very true and real and is an unattended to serious issue, which cannot be excluded from any effort to curb sexual violence against children and women.

Some say it is cultural, but the truth is that there is bad culture that needs to change.