Residents in the Cayman Islands will be taking “Steps to End Silence” on Saturday to highlight child sexual abuse.
The month of April is internationally recognised as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is a yearly advocacy campaign to raise public awareness about sexual violence, in particular sexual assault and rape.
This year, the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation is focused on highlighting child sexual abuse in particular.
The foundation is organising monthly awareness activities that focus on speaking out about sexual violence and supporting those who are victims of sexual crimes. The foundation aims to highlight that all individuals have important contributions to make in creating a world free of sexual violence for adults and children. Organisers hope that community members will turn out in force to show their support and lend their voices to the effort.
To bring attention to this important topic, the foundation has organised the 3rd annual “Steps to End Silence Walk” and a writing contest that focused on the theme, “It Shouldn’t Hurt to Be a Child”. Open to those age 15 and older, the top three winners of the writing contest will walk away with a BlackBerry Curve donated by LIME, a Paperwhite Kindle and a $50 Camana Bay gift card. All of the events organised for campaign encourage the public to break the silence about sexual violence and abuse and to inspire action that creates healthier individuals and communities.
Sponsored by Camana Bay and the Caymanian Compass, the Steps to End Silence Walk is a free group walk suitable for the entire family. The event begins at 10am at the Crescent in Camana Bay on Saturday, 20 April. Participants will walk in silence for about 20 minutes from Camana Bay to West Bay Road and return back to the Crescent.
After the walk, there will be entertainment by KRI Performing Arts School, an art station by the Family Resource Centre to design T-shirts, announcement of SAAM writing competition winners, spot prizes and free give aways. The newly designed foundation hats, as well as Estella T-shirts, will be available for purchase.
By walking in silence for the entire event, the participants are reminded of how silence hurts both the victims of these crimes and the community when we fail to speak out against sexual assault and child sexual abuse issues in the Cayman Islands. Materials will also be available that educate on the topics of sexual assault and child sexual abuse and share how individuals and communities can take action.
Rayle Roberts, chairman of the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation, said, “The foundation is striving to raise public awareness about sexual violence, inform the community on how to prevent it and inspire action to make positive changes. Ending sexual violence requires the effort of all of us. Therefore, we hope to see many people at the walk and to partner with more organisations in the future that support the goals of this campaign.”
Over the years, the foundation has noted the positive effects of these kinds of events, which not only raise the level of awareness on these issues, but often times encourages a victim to come forward and obtain help they need to heal. The foundation encourages anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault or child sexual abuse to seek support from one of the many agencies in the community or a trusted family member or friend. Let the healing and prevention begin in order to create a better future for ourselves, our children and our communities.
For more information on the “Steps to End Silence Walk” in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, email [email protected]