Stronger action needed against child abuse 

Dear Editor,

I pen this letter, not because l take pleasure in doing so, but as a responsible citizen, l must.

I refuse to sit in silence on this vexing issue. My team and l will not rest until every adult in this country summons the courage to take action against these heinous attacks on our children.

Today, l am reminded of the saying, “You don’t need religion to have morals”. If you can’t determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion.

In the book “The Seat of the Soul”, author Gary Zukav writes that, “Every action, thought, and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect. If we participate in the cause, it is not possible for us not to participate in the effect.

“In this most profound way, we are held responsible for our every action, thought, and feeling, which is to say, for our every intention.”

This powerful quote by, John Baptiste Moliere makes us think about our responsibility as individuals within our society: “It is not only what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.” 

The reality is child abuse and neglect are two of the core public health and socioeconomic issues in this country, and we have yet to find any resolve.

While most children in this country are treated fairly and given the rights they deserve, there are those who are abused, exploited and neglected. We must not rest on our laurels until every child is safe.

Our children are watching us, what reason can we give them now?

How many more children must be robbed of their innocence and purity before we act?

Have we become so egocentric that children’s lives don’t matter anymore?

When will our anger and outrage turn into positive action?

When will enough, be enough!

Imagine feeling so much shame and guilt that you would rather die than reveal your biggest secret.

Imagine feeling confused, angry, disappointed and trapped.

Imagine being abused, raped, or molested by the adult who is supposed to protect you.

Now, imagine not being believed, demonized, victimized or blamed for what happened to you.

Unfortunately, these are the daily cries of many individuals in our communities.

Child abuse can be committed in several ways and the impact it has on victims is extremely serious, and can affect a child well into adulthood.

Bahamians, we can’t continue to live in a society where our children are targets.

We all must be a part of the solution because we don’t have the luxury of not knowing; neither do we have the choice of not doing anything.

“Our children are our greatest treasures. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.” — Nelson Mandela

Take a stand, today!

— Shervonne Hollis

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