An anti-child sex abuse charity has taken to the roads to encourage parents to learn about prevention.

Saving Children and Revealing Secrets is highlighting its services in adverts on the back of five Bermuda buses as the island marks Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Debi Ray-Rivers, Scars founder and executive director, said: “Because it was child abuse awareness month, we decided to advertise in a way that not only encourages parents to become educated in prevention but also allows children, when they see that ad, to know that there are adults out there advocating for their protection because it is their right to be protected.”

The advert shows a child pointing out of the poster and the caption “It’s your responsibility to protect me.”

Ms Ray-Rivers said the advertisement will be displayed on the back of the buses throughout the month.

She added: “We would love to have a sponsorship to run this ad longer.”

The charity, which has trained more than 6,800 adults to prevent, recognise and react responsibly to child sex abuse, will also host its annual tag day next week.

Ms Ray-Rivers said: “Scars continues to raise funds so that no one has to pay for the training.

“We don’t want there to be any barrier for organisations not to be able to participate in the training.

“We believe that no one should pay to learn how to protect children from sexual abuse.”

Ms Ray-Rivers added: “We know the long-term effects of sexual abuse through the hundreds of adults who have disclosed to us.

“There is not a presentation that goes by where we don’t hear a story from an adult. We know the spillover, so prevention is really important.”

She said: “We want organisations to implement codes of conduct even if it is not mandatory through legislation. We want organisations to do background checks and reference checks.”

“We want parents to go home and talk to their children about their bodies and how special their bodies are.

“And we want parents to intervene when adults or older children are crossing those boundaries or their child is crossing a boundary of another child.

“We want them to apply what they are learning in the training.”

Volunteers will be at all MarketPlace stores from 8am to 8pm on April Wednedday, and Lindo’s in Warwick will allow shoppers to round up their grocery bill in aid of Scars on Saturday.

Ms Ray-Rivers said: “There will also be Scars volunteers outside the store, if anyone wants to put a little extra in our bucket.”

She added: “We encourage the community to help us to continue this work in educating our community in sexual abuse prevention so that children can grow up protected.”

Volunteers will also have information about the charity and its training programmes.

By Lisa Simpson The Royal Gazette