Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month
Thursday, 31 March 2011 09:31

Minister of National Mobilisation Issues Statement Ahead of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month

Minister of National Mobilization, Social Development, Family, Persons with Disabilities, Youth Sports and Culture Hon. Frederick Stephenson has made a special appeal to parents and all who are vested with the responsibility to provide and facilitate quality care for the nation’s children to be determined to end all forms of abuse against children.

In a statement ahead of the opening of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month to be observed in April, Minister Stephenson said he hopes that this year’s theme “Inspiring families through positive changes for a better society” will foster closer relations among families.

The Minister strongly appealed and charged the public with the responsibility to have the most important institution of society – the family, be rebuilt. “Let us be known as the nation whose families pray together, eat together, play together and stay together” Minister Stephenson stressed.

The Family Affairs Minister further noted that within recent times, much outcry has been made about young boys or adolescent males allegedly being subjected to sexual harassment and molestation. Whether or not there is any truth in these allegations, Minister Stephenson said that we are morally obligated to fight ardently to prevent any attempt to treat our nation’s children despairingly. Each family in our society, he noted, must seek feverishly to inculcate high self worth into the minds of its members especially the children.

Reflecting on data compiled by the Family Affairs Division between the period 2008 to 2010, Minister Stephenson said the number of reported cases of child abuse in St. Vincent and the Grenadines must be cause for serious concern. On a brighter note however, the Minister pointed out that reports of child abuse coming from concerned citizens have been increasing.

Throughout the month of April, the Ministry will hold several activities which include parenting and students oriented workshops in different communities across the nation. Additionally, to create further awareness child abuse, the Ministry has termed every Friday in April as “blue ribbon Fridays”. On these days, they are appealing to members of the public to wear a blue ribbon (the symbol of child abuse month) or wear a piece of blue clothing.