Walking in silence to give others a voıce

Since the early 1990s, the month of April has been internationally recognised as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

This is a time when organisations worldwide, such as the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation, strive to raise public awareness about sexual violence, inform the community on how to prevent it and inspire action to make positive changes. It is also an opportunity to consider the implications of sexual violence on health, human rights and social justice.

To bring attention to this important topic, the foundation has planned its fourth annual observance with a ‘Steps to End Silence Walk,’ a literary contest, and a child sexual abuse prevention workshop for adults. All of the events encourage the public to break the silence about sexual violence and abuse and inspire action creating healthier communities.

The Steps to End Silence Walk is a free group walk suitable for the entire family. It will begin at 10am at The Crescent in Camana Bay on Saturday, 21 April. Participants will walk in silence from Camana Bay to West Bay Road, returning back to the Crescent for entertainment, spot prizes, free giveaways, and the announcement of the winners of the literary competition. Additionally, the newly designed Estella T-shirt will be launched at the walk and made available for purchase.

Rayle Roberts, chairman of the foundation, said, “In order to overcome this social evil, we must once again bring it to the attention of the Cayman community. By coming together as one, we are publicly stating that we do not condone this behaviour and we will do whatever is in our power to prevent it.”

The final activity being organised is a free training workshop for adults and caregivers of children that will inform them of seven steps to decrease the risks of child sexual abuse. The workshop features the Stewards of Children’s Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training programme called “7 Steps from Darkness2Light” and will be held on Saturday, 28 April. The venue has yet to be announced.

As a result of its various public education campaigns over the years, the foundation has witnessed firsthand how raising awareness of these issues ensures that topics such as sexual violence no longer ‘stay behind closed doors’ leaving victims to suffer in silence. It is time to break this silence and encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual violence or child sexual abuse to seek support from one of the many agencies in the community or a trusted family member or friend. The foundation recognises this is often a very difficult journey, but it is one that is necessary for a better future.

Established on 31 October, 2008, the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation is a nonprofit organisation, created to continue the life’s work of our beloved Estella, and to achieve her dream: Gender equality and a life free of violence for all.

For more information on the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation walk in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, please e-mail [email protected], visit www.esrfoundation.org.ky and our Facebook page at “The-Estella-Scott-Roberts-Foundation”.