The “10 Most Fascinating People of Bermuda 2015″ series continues today with the sixth video release featuring Jon Brunson and Debi Ray-Rivers of SCARS.
Host Lisa Pickering introduces the pair by saying, “Like many survivors of child sexual abuse, Debi Ray-Rivers would see her perpetrator freely walking the streets, serving as a constant reminder of the abuse which a staggering estimated one in three females and one in five males in Bermuda will be victims to.
“When the same fate tragically befell a member of herfamily, Debi knew she had to act, not only to heal, but to bring the plight of these child victims out of the dark and into the light.
“In 2011, after hearing her story, local businessman Jon Brunson joined forces with Debi to form SCARS – ‘Saving Children and Revealing Secrets.’
“Since then, close to 4,000 residents have participated in their ‘Stewards of Children’ sexual abuse prevention training. And SCARS isn’t just about prevention; they also work with adult survivors, helping them take that important first step of revealing in order to heal.”
Ms. Pickering asked the pair about the idea of a sex offender registry, to which Mr. Brunson said, “We do believe and support the idea of a public sex offenders registry, but we think that real reform in the community is required, in that mandatory treatment, sex offender management, a registry of some sort, whether its public or not, preventive training – making it mandatory – and then redefining and rewriting our laws so that we have tougher penalties that will serve as more of a deterrent for anyone who would even contemplate the idea.”
Ms. Ray-Rivers said, “The sex offenders list main purpose is not to shame sex offenders; it’s to protect children, and I think that’s what we have to wrap our heads around.”
When asked about the end goal for SCARS, Ms. Ray-Rivers said, “For every adult to hear this message, every new parent, even every young adult that is not a parent yet, to see what they can do to save their children from this crime. And I think we’re going to accomplish that.
“We’d like every organization that is entrusted with the care of children to hear the message and then to put policies and procedures in place that will reduce the risk. So that’s our goal: every adult. And we’re not going to stop until it happens.”
The video was produced by Lisa Pickering and Burnt House Productions and is sponsored by CellOne and Butterfield & Vallis, while Ms Pickering’s dress and accessories are by Atelerie.
We will continue to post their video releases here on Bernews over the coming days, and the “Most Fascinating Person of 2015″ will be revealed on Friday, January 29th. The entire program will be also be aired on CITV.
Bermuda has no shortage of interesting people, so if you want to suggest a candidate to Ms. Pickering for this year’s list, please feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org