Fighting for our children

Dear Editor,

“Every child has the right to live free from violence, exploitation, and abuse.” – UNICEF.

Child abuse is one of the biggest public health issues that society faces. And to see a world free of child abuse, we all must play our part.

November 5, 2022, marks the first anniversary of the death of four-year-old D’Onya “Bella” Walker.

Still, the pain, anger, and sadness of her untimely death lingers on with us.

It is important that we continue to fight for the rights of every child in The Bahamas and advocate for stronger laws and stiffer penalties against those who harm a child.

There is never any excuse for child abuse.

The rights of a child is a fundamental freedom and the inherent right of all human beings under the age of 18.

This right applies to all children, irrespective of the background, race, color, parents/guardian, creed and gender.

A child is a symbol of innocence. And the loss of a child, for a parent is a pain that hits deep and has no expiration date. Equally, any harm to a child impacts a community.

Preventing child abuse and neglect requires addressing risk and protective factors at all levels within society.

The most effective prevention strategies focus on modifying policies, practices, and societal norms to create safe, balanced, nurturing relationships and environments.

Above all, protecting children includes protecting their physical, mental, and psychosocial needs to secure their futures.

We must be more “child centric” in our approach in this country and we must think actively about potential harm to children and ways to eliminate or mitigate any negative effects.

One of the objectives of the #wewontrest movement campaign is to increase awareness within our communities surrounding child abuse.

We won’t rest. Partner organizations are committed to addressing all issues regarding child protection and safety in this country.

The time is now!

With the commitment of parents, caregivers, teachers, communities, and governments, it is possible to create a child-abuse-free society.

“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”– Nelson Mandela


To support the ‘Bella Bill’ learn more at @Rise Bahamas social media pages.

Shervonne Hollis

president, Save Our Children Alliance; vice president, Coalition of Child Advocates

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