As stated from the outset, we’ve had SCARS on our radar for some time and when we made contact in our first of three interviews with the founder of Saving Children And Revealing Secrets, we knew right away that it was time to get certified.
We took the 3-hour course on Tuesday, June 21 and recorded the impact of that certification course two days later, to join more than 11,600 residents in Bermuda with eyes wide open watching our most precious resources.
Frankly, when I heard the founder’s personal story in our first interview, then watched her tell it all over again for this course, our first thought was how does she do this over and over and over again.
Then we thought about the magnitude of what she was saying about the fact that child predators operate in isolation. They don’t prey on children out in the open – which leads to that infamous CLOSET!
As a seasoned journalist, this certification course conjured up a lot to think about, while there are many youngsters out on summer vacation.
While the youngsters may be registered in the countless Summer Day Camps programmes being offered, there are countless teenagers left to their own devices, with their devices.
Social media links reach millions of people worldwide, including an estimated 500,000 child predators looking to groom their young victims via the internet.
In part two of three reports, we zoom in on why you need to get certified – whether you have children of your own or not.
For those parents who wonder why it’s important or when they should start the conversation, Debi Ray-Rivers, the founder of SCARS said by the time a child reaches the age of four (4) is the time to get started with what should be an ongoing conversation.
For those parents who say their child is only a baby, who hasn’t reached that appropriate age, she said: “That little 2-year-old is going to grow into a 4-year-old, which is when the conversation should start.”
When you get SCARS certified, she said: “The information that you are going to hear during these three hours is really going to equip you to start that conversation when this little one turns four.
“I would also say that we all know children.
“You might have a friend who has children, you might work with children, you might have nieces and nephews and we want to protect all children.
“What if you’re that one adult who a child a child discloses that they’re being abused? Would you know how to respond to that little child – it could be your godchild, it could be a niece or nephew, it could be your child’s friend and they feel safe around you to tell you what’s happening.
“It’s not only about protecting your own child, it’s about recognising things in other children and knowing how to respond to it.”
In case you missed it, take time out to sit back and have a listen. In part three of this report later this year in October, when SCARS celebrates their 11th anniversary, we’ll be streaming live, hopefully with child sex abuse survivors to share the pain endured by hurt young people who grow up to hurt more people, who have embarked on the journey of healing so as not to repeat this predatory cycle protected by guilt and silence due to shame.