Editorial for 18 March: Dark secret of children’s welfare

We at the Caymanian Compass knew last
week’s story regarding gay adoption rights, one of the many matters dealt with
under the recently-passed Adoption Bill, would stir up quite a bit of debate.

Wherever you stand on the issue, we believe
it is good to see the robust and even sometimes heated public debate about it.
This shows that the rights of individuals and the welfare of children in our
community are issues that remain at the front of people’s minds long after the
passage of the 2009 Constitution Order, which included Cayman’s very first Bill
of Rights.

Some commenters on the subject at
www.cayCompass.com opined that, in their view, it was a risk to children to be
adopted into a homosexual couple’s home. Others believed that such a home can
provide a loving and caring environment, indeed much more so than a number of
heterosexual couples or single-parent families are able to do.

We will leave this difficult and complex
debate for others who are wiser than us to decide.

However, it is worth pointing out that many
more children in the Cayman Islands community – and across the Caribbean – are
truly at risk in a way that no one can debate, from sexual predators, and
little, if anything, ever appears to be said or done about it.

How many of the readers out there have a
family member or relative who they won’t leave their children alone with
because they suspect something is wrong? Yet, how many of them will stand by
and say nothing, neither getting the troubled individual the help they need,
nor taking steps that would potentially protect the child? We hear horror
stories, whispered over the phone sometimes, about children – 13 or 14 year old
girls – being sold into prostitution right here in this community. However, try
contacting the police or speaking to anyone about it and you’ll be met with a
wall of silence.

If we are truly concerned about the welfare
of the children, let’s talk about a grave danger present today. Let’s remove
the stigma from this problem of child sexual abuse and take steps to eradicate
the scourge forever from our shores.

It’s something that we feel requires no
debate.

 

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