The BVI Red Cross has received a $5,000 grant which it will use to undertake a comprehensive child sexual abuse prevention strategy in the territory.
Red Cross Director Helen Frett said her organisation received the grant from global child advocates, Help For Children.
The funds will be used specifically towards a Red Cross course known as the ‘Darkness to Light, Stewards of Children’ which, according to Frett, empowers adults on child sexual abuse prevention.
The aforementioned abuse-prevention strategy will target organisations who engage with youth. The strategy will seek to implement various protection standards within these organisations.
These standards will include having child protection policies in the workplace and ensuring that background checks are done on employees of these organisations.
“Child abuse is a continuing problem in the BVI with 28 percent of various abuses being sex-related. While the figure was down from 38 percent in 2015, the issue remains of great concern to the authorities,” Frett said via a recent media release.
Frett said a fraction of the funds will also be used to train the facilitators in new techniques and procedures.
In the meantime, another part of the funds will be channelled towards a two-hour training course.
That course seeks to educate adults on recognising sexual abuse, how to effectively respond to it, and the relevant procedures in reporting suspected cases of abuse to the authorities.
“The programme believes and teaches that child safety is an adult’s job. It is designed for organisations that serve children and youth,” Frett explained.
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