BVI Social Workers Telling Children Of All The Islands To Speak Up.

Photo: BVIGIS. Social workers address children in the sister islands.
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Social Workers from the BVI Social Development Department have visited several schools on the sister islands to deliver messages on child abuse prevention and awareness.

The officers visited the Bregado Flax Educational Centre, the Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School and the Ciboney Centre for Excellence on Virgin Gorda on April 25 to educate children on the importance of knowing what child abuse is, its signs as well as reporting child abuse.

The team also visited the Jost Van Dyke Primary School and the Claudia Creque Educational Centre on Anegada.

Programme Director for Children and Family Support Services Miss Laurel Freeman said it was important to educate children on what constitutes abuse as this is one of the first step in teaching them to protect themselves.

Ms. Freeman said, “This empowerment helps children understand that they have a right to speak up and seek help if they ever experience or witness abuse. Education also plays a vital role in preventing child abuse by raising awareness and teaching children about safe and appropriate behaviour.”

The Programme Director added that by understanding boundaries and recognising warning signs, children are better equipped to avoid potentially dangerous situations and protect themselves from harm.

Miss Freeman said the department found it critical to visit schools on the sister islands because of the importance of reaching all children in the Virgin Islands.

“Usually these school visits are done on Tortola but we thought it was important to involve the sister islands because child abuse is not selective. It is something that any child can experience and we wanted the children on the sister islands to know the steps and measures they can take to ensure their voices are being heard.”

The school visits formed a part of the Social Development Department’s activities in observation of Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. The theme for this year’s observation is, “Pinwheels for Prevention: Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business.”

The Social Development Department remains committed to protecting the well-being of all children in the Virgin Islands.

Source: BVI Public Information Service.
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