“Bill to outlaw marital rape proposed By BRENT DEAN ~ NG Staff Reporter ~ firstname.lastname@example.org: The government has presented legislation to Parliament that would totally ban marital rape in The Bahamas. Minister of State for Social Development Loretta Butler-Turner introduced the landmark amendments to the Sexual Offences Act yesterday in the House of Assembly. Currently, marital rape is only recognized in The Bahamas if the couple is separated or in the process of getting a divorce. If a couple is married and there has been no separation, no rape can occur under Bahamian law.”
This is an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act that the Crisis Centre has been lobbying for for some time. We will be watching to see how quickly this amendment will be enacted.
I am hoping that the following information on Sexual Abuse and signs to look for, is useful. The Crisis Centre has brochures on all forms of abuse and many of these brochures are available as free downloads from the Crisis Centre website
Children should be taught about good and bad touching (brochures are also available for that)
What is Child Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is the involvement of a child in any sexual practices with an adult or older child.
It includes fondling of private parts, making suggestions of a sexual nature, penetration (anal, oral or vaginal) It also includes exposure to indecent pictures, film, literature or behaviour.
Signs of sexual abuse:
* Precocious sexual behaviour
* Unexplained bleeding or discharge from genital or anal
* Stress related disorders
* Infections in the mouth or throat
* Sexually transmitted diseases
* Loss of appetite
* Unexplained vomiting or gagging
* Low self esteem
* Problems at school
A child who is being sexually abused may become withdrawn,
depressed, sometimes suicidal, self-destructive, obsessed with
private parts and fearful.
A child who reports that he/she is being abused should be:
* believed…children rarely make up stories of abuse
* reassured that he/she is not at fault
* given a promise that he/she will be protected from further abuse
* taken to the doctor
When someone is sexually abused by a family member, or somebody
close to the family, it is called “incest”.
This form of sexual abuse is particularly traumatic because it
breaks the trust a child has placed in someone who is normally caring
Sometimes parents, and especially mothers, do not want to believe
that their child has been molested, particularly when it is someone,
sometimes the breadwinner, who lives in the same house or nearby.
NEVER blame your child. Sexual abuse is never the child’s fault.
PLEASE believe your child. Not only is it against the law to keep
such information to yourself, but you may be sacrificing your child’s
physical and emotional health if you do not seek help.
Held in conjunction with the Bahamas Christian Council and the National Child Protection Council, the solemn ceremony went well though the turn out was not as good as we had expected. With all the outrage at recent reports of child abuse, one would think the community would be glad to have the opportunity to express their horror that ANY child should be abused. However, those who did attend, were very supportive and eager to sign the petition that was available. Many people read the horrifying stories of abuse depicted on a clothesline project.
Pastor Barrington Brennen did a wonderful job as MC…not sure why we had to take off a shoe and compared it with that of the person next to us!!
Dr Patterson gave an impassioned Statement of Purpose and Minister of State for Social Services, Loretta Butler Turner admonished those who were not present to make their voices heard. She was disappointed that more people had not come out to support the cause.
Pastors from several churches were present and made their contribution calling for an end to abuse of children.
The National Children’s Choir sang beautifully and CREAM gave a presentation on abuse of children.
Miss Bahamas Universe 2009 spoke with passion about abuse and young Quinton Smith from Long Island talked about the different forms and effects of child abuse. They both captured the hearts of those present.
Several members of The Bahamas Against Sexual Violence were there to support the Crisis Centre and we appreciate their presence.
The volunteers who assisted either in preparation or in the actual ceremony were not nearly as many as we would have liked or hoped for. Had it not been for a faithful few, it would have been very difficult to set up for the ceremony, to distribute candles, to supervise the signing of the petition and clear up.
Thank you so much to those who did help.