This week, His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper, Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson and staff from their teams joined a growing number of individuals in the Cayman Islands certified in recognising the signs of and preventing child sex abuse.
Darkness to Light ‘Stewards of Children’ training uses a mix of survivor stories, expert advice and practical guidance to teach participants about making choices, taking risks and supporting each other to prevent child sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences. The training references that globally about 1 in 10 children experience child sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. Research shows that 95 percent of sexual abuse is preventable through education.
“We all come into contact with children at some point in our lives, whether as parents, friends, caregivers or through our work. It is important that we are able to recognise the signs and know what steps to take. Ending child sexual abuse is everyone’s responsibility. Only by bringing the community together to address this social problem can we be sure that our children can grow up in a happy and safe environment. I would encourage everyone to consider taking the training,” says Governor Roper.
Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson found the session incredibly powerful and informative: “We need to educate, raise awareness and reduce the stigma. Prevention is possible and we all play our part, as a Civil Service and as individuals. Our children need us to take action we have never taken before to protect them from sexual abuse or the potential exposure to sexual abuse.”
Carolina Ferreira, Deputy Director and Child Protection and Sexuality Education Programmes Manager for the Cayman Islands Red Cross explains, "When the Protection Starts Here child abuse prevention project started in 2012, our goal was nothing short of creating a culture of safeguarding in all sectors of our community. Having Governor Martyn Roper and Deputy Governor Franz Manderson undertake the Darkness to Light "Stewards of Children" training session is an important milestone in that endeavour because it helps us to illustrate that safeguarding really is everyone's responsibility, and we all have a role to play in protecting children - personally and professionally."