The last week of May is Child Abuse Prevention
week on the National Council’s calendar of activities. The child
protection week was started in 2005 with the aim of promoting awareness on the
need to keep children safe and families strong in our community.
The week-long campaign includes a
variety of activities and public education efforts to raise awareness about
child abuse and neglect and what can be done to keep children safe.
The campaign this year will be officially
launched by the Minister for Education Mrs Macsuzy Mondon in the
Perseverance Community on Monday 26th May.
“The only true way to wipe out child abuse is
through primary prevention - keeping child abuse from happening in the first
place” said, Ruby Pardiwalla director of NCC.
“Many of us live in our ‘own little world’
where life may be fairly okay as compared to others, and we are oblivious to
all that is going on in our communities. Often when we hear about certain
activities that children are involved in, in other parts of the world, we never
imagine that these things are occurring amongst the children on our own
doorstep”. Therefore, as responsible adults, it is our duty as far as
possible to protect all children; not just our own but all children in our
sphere of influence. We must begin to live by the saying, “It takes a village
to raise a child” she added.
“We also want to educate our children so that
they can speak out, if they feel something is wrong. More importantly, it is
our responsibility as adults to listen to them when they do. We must
become aware of the many challenges they may be faced with. We must become
aware and keep up-to-date with new trends, be aware of the activities that our
children may be involved in and who their friends are.
Talk to children about things you know are
occurring and teach them how to avoid these things happening to them. There is
a saying, “People do not care how much you know until they know how much you
care.” This is also true of children, they really do not care how much we know,
they just want to know that we truly care for them”.
If we have reasons to believe that children in
our neighbourhoods are being abused, we must not be afraid to report these
cases. Sometimes some of us may take on the attitude that as long as it is not
our children, it does not concern us but we must do our part in protecting all
children. Many children being abused just need someone to be brave enough to
speak for them. They are looking to responsible adults to protect them.
It takes all of us getting involved and doing
our part as parents or guardians, grandparents, aunts and uncles, godparents,
teachers, youth leaders, sports coaches, neighbours and mentors, to protect our
If you wish to learn more about how to
better protect children, please call the National Council for Children and register
for one of their educational workshops: 4283 900.