Residents who want to make a positive difference in children’s lives are being asked to support the latest campaign by Scars.

The charity, Saving Children and Revealing Secrets, aims to reduce the risk of youngsters being sexually abused and tries to be a voice for victims and their families.

Launched in 2011, Scars’ mission is to end the silence, secrets and shame that surround abuse and champion prevention in the community through awareness and education.

More than 3,050 people have completed their free Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training, an American prevention programme that teaches adults how to prevent, recognise and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

Those who have taken part include parents, teachers, police officers, charities, church groups, sports organisations, support agencies, government staff and prosecutors. Anyone interested in protecting children is welcome to attend one of the free sessions, with the next being held on Saturday, September 19.

Scars is now asking the community to help this valuable work and to help it to fulfil future goals by supporting its “12 for 12” campaign, pledging $12 a month for 12 months.

“Please support Scars,” said Debi Ray-Rivers, the group’s founder and executive director. “Invest in the protection of our children and future generations of children.

“Things that happen in our childhood are sometimes the hardest to deal with and it can affect us in our adulthood.

“A wounded child can become a wounded adult and the sexual abuse of children affects all of us in our community. Our vision at Scars is for all children to grow up in a safe environment, free from harm and with their innocence protected.

“We are asking everyone to support Scars and invest $12 a month for 12 months so that we can continue to provide our awareness and educational programmes to our community at no cost.”

• To donate to Scars, a registered charity (No 922), you can set up a standing order to its HSBC account, number 011-054541-001, or give online at

• To register for the next training session, e-mail”>

By Leanne McGrath The Royal Gazette