Constant communication with children advised

News  |  April 6, 2020

Parents and guardians were asked to keep talking to children to limit the risk of child sex abuse over the shelter-in-place lockdown. Saving Children and Revealing Secrets warned it feared that isolation procedures created an environment where attacks on minors could be carried out. Debi Ray-Rivers, the charity’s founder and executive director, explained at the weekend: “With April being Nat... Read more

Girl: attack ‘bothered my soul deeply’

News  |  March 7, 2020

A 27-year-old man will spend ten years behind bars for sexual offences against a ten-year-old schoolgirl. William Smith was found guilty of unlawful carnal knowledge, attempted unlawful carnal knowledge and two counts of sexual exploitation of a young person by a person in a position of trust. Acting Puisne Judge Craig Attridge told Smith, from Warwick, he had “traumatised” the girl for his ... Read more

Call for action on sexual grooming

News  |  January 23, 2020

More work has to be done to prevent the “grooming” of children by sex offenders, a charity has warned. Debi Ray-Rivers, the founder of child protection agency Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, said more people needed to be aware of the danger signals that a child was being groomed for sexual abuse. Ms Ray-Rivers said: “The adults in the community have to watch for behaviour from other... Read more

Scars certifies 10,000th child advocate

News, Uncategorized  |  January 20, 2020

A charity dedicated to halting the sexual abuse of children crossed a landmark when it certified its 10,000th child advocate. Debi Ray-Rivers, the founder of Saving Children And Revealing Secrets, said that milestone, achieved on Saturday, reflected progress made on the issue by the Bermuda community. Ms Ray-Rivers said: “It’s a testament to our community, to our people, because we are not a... Read more

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