Every child deserves to be protected and safe

News  |  December 12, 2019

What does every child who is brought into this world need and deserve? Every child needs unconditional love and protection, provided by those who brought them into this world. Parenting can be one of the most difficult but most rewarding responsibilities we will encounter in life and it requires education of parents and guardians so they have a substantive appreciation of what parenting entails,... Read more

Scars calls for background checks

News  |  December 5, 2019

Compulsory police background checks should be carried out on anyone who wants to work with children, the head of a child protection charity said yesterday. Debi Ray-Rivers, the director of Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, said that police vetting should be a requirement for anyone involved with a “youth-serving organisation”. She added that the recent discovery of a court letter given ... Read more

Young sex offenders must address their behaviour

News  |  November 26, 2019

A coalition of social services agencies has called for restorative justice in cases where young people are convicted of sexual offences. The Inter-Agency Committee for Children and Families said people convicted of sexual offences, particularly those aged under 18, needed to understand the harm they caused their victims and help to tackle the causes of the behaviour to prevent further offending. ... Read more

IAC echoes call for stronger child protection

News  |  November 18, 2019

The Inter-Agency Committee for Children and Families has backed a call by Bermuda’s top police officer to tighten up the law to better protect schoolchildren from sexual predators — even if the youngsters are over the age of consent. The IAC said in a statement that updated legislation to better protect vulnerable children was an “urgent necessity”. The statement from the committee, an u... Read more

Expert Praises Scars

News  |  November 1, 2019

A British child protection campaigner said last week she envied the progress made by a Bermudian child sex abuse prevention charity. Marilyn Hawes added that Saving Children and Revealing Secrets had “nailed it”. She was speaking after she met Scars founder Debi Ray-Rivers. Ms Hawes said: “I’m really privileged and proud to know Debi because what she’s achieving is awesome. “She ha... Read more

‘No gap’ in exploitation law – Government

News  |  October 25, 2019

The Bermuda Government does not believe there is a “gap in the law” that allows adults in positions of trust or authority to sexually exploit children aged over 16. Christine DaCosta, who was targeted by a teacher at Mount Saint Agnes Academy when she was 17, said there should be legislative change to close a loophole that allowed teachers, sports coaches and others who work with young people... Read more

Bermuda law not in accordance with Britain

News  |  October 25, 2019

A teacher in Bermuda who had consensual sex with a pupil would not commit the offence of “sexual exploitation by a person in a position of trust or authority” if the child is aged 16 or over — unlike in Britain. It has been an offence there since 2001 for a person older than 18 in a specified “position of trust” to have sexual contact with anyone under the age of 18, even if the relatio... Read more

Christine’s nightmare

News  |  October 25, 2019

Christine DaCosta “vividly” remembers the moment in 1998 when Robert DiGiacomo, her history teacher at Mount Saint Agnes Academy, told her he loved her. The encounter happened on a Saturday night after Mass, during April’s Holy Week, after he walked her from church to her bike. Ms DaCosta said the incident changed the nature of their relationship — and the entire course of her life. Ms ... Read more

Ms X: DiGiacomo kissed me in 1981

News  |  October 25, 2019

History teacher Robert DiGiacomo forcibly kissed a 17-year-old schoolgirl on the night of her graduation from Mount Saint Agnes Academy and later went to her home with a gift of jewellery. The woman, referred to as Ms X to protect her identity, told The Royal Gazette the two incidents happened in 1981, when Mr DiGiacomo would have been 27. She said she remembered him starting work at the Catholi... Read more

Bishop will act if more victims emerge

News  |  October 25, 2019

The Catholic Bishop of Hamilton said yesterday he would launch an investigation if more victims of former Mount Saint Agnes Academy history teacher Robert DiGiacomo came forward. The Most Reverend Wes Spiewak said former pupils should contact him if they knew of any wrongdoing that occurred during Mr DiGiacomo’s 20-year teaching career at the Catholic private school. He added: “I will go for... Read more

The scars are still deep

News  |  October 25, 2019

A woman groomed by her teacher for sex while she was a teenage schoolgirl has called for a change to the law to protect 16 and 17-year-old girls from predators. Christine DaCosta, 38, said adults who worked with children could target girls by grooming them before they reached the age of consent, but avoid prosecution by not having sex with them until they reached the age of 16. Ms DaCosta told T... Read more

Paddle round island to support Scars

News  |  October 1, 2019

First it was kayakers, then surf skiers joined in and paddlers got on board last year — now it is hoped more people than ever will get on the water for a round-the-island challenge this weekend. Jerry Rivers, an organiser of Kayak For Kids, said the event to raise money for Saving Children and Revealing Secrets was growing annually. He called on members of the community to take part in the two... Read more