Sexual abuse charity SCARS has worked with a dozen youth service workers to help them identify and properly react to child sexual abuse cases.

Staff from Child and Family Services, schools, camps and North Village Community Club were trained to be “authorised facilitators”, meaning that they can now pass on training to the staff and volunteers at their organisations, along with the greater community.

Glenda Edwards, supervisor at the Department of Child and Family Services, said: “Child sexual abuse is a serious problem in Bermuda, which is frequently underreported and undetected, and contributes significantly to many of our present social problems.

“The Department is committed to working with the community to prevent the sexual abuse of children, and this invaluable educational tool will be an effective weapon in that fight.”

SCARS founder Debi Ray-Rivers said that providing proper training to those who work with children is a key step in preventing child sexual abuse.

“Organisations have a responsibility to protect the youth in their care,” she said. “In addition to comprehensive, documented child protection policies and procedures, training for all staff and volunteers that interact with youth is an important step in prevention.”

By Owain Johnston-Barnes The Royal Gazette