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Oct 3, 2011

Fathers protest against sexual abuse of children

Less than twenty-four hours earlier, on Saturday morning, fathers and others protested the heinous attacks on children. At the centre of the protest was a four year old pre-school girl who is living with the lifelong trauma of rape. Her mother and the community at large are outraged at the crime that was first reported to the police on September twenty-third. While no one has been arrested, the child has named the perpetrator as someone known to the family who picked her up at school. The doctors have confirmed she has been carnally known. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Ann-Marie Williams

A small protest with a big message made its way through the city streets on Saturday. The event, organized by the group Fathers Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children, brought out parents and children condemning the heinous acts committed against minors, particularly the recent rape of a four year old girl. Ann-Marie Williams and Pearl Stuart of the NCFC were among the protestors.

Ann-Marie Williams, Board Member, NCFC

“I am totally fed up. I am fed up of what is happening and I think that Belize is thirty years old and at this juncture we need to address the issues that are of concern to our entire family, our community and by extension our nation. I am tired of some of the Belizeans violating women and children and to me today was a clarion call, I needed to have been out here. So had it been I alone from NCFC, I would have been here. I have decided to do whatever I need to do to put an end to this.”

Pearl Stuart

Pearl Stuart, Executive Director, NCFC

“Our mandate is to in fact protect the welfare of Belize’s children and families. So we definitely had to be a part of this because society as a whole owes it to children and particularly the NCFC as our mandate to protecting those children.”

Familiar faces such as Moses Sulph of COLA and Yolanda Schakron of Belizeans for Justice also took the streets; not only as activists but as parents seeking protection for their children.

Moses Sulph, President, COLA

“I myself am out here to support it because I have daughters and I have son and I would not want to see any of them be molested. I mean, I think the court system really needs to—as my sign says, the government needs to invest more in equipment so that proper forensics can be done to get people convicted and I think that’s where we need to go.”

Yolanda Schakron

Yolanda Schakron, Belizeans for Justice

“This is a serious issue, child abuse. We need to bring it to the attention of the public, of our leaders. I am a mother, I have two children and I think we need to go back, revisit some legislation and we need to have more protection for our children.”

David Betancourt

The need for changes in the justice system was echoed by many, including FASEAC president David Betancourt and concerned citizen, Peter Lacey.

David Betancourt, President, FASEAC

“Re-write the law so the law is not criminal friendly, but is victim friendly whereby when someone has done something that the law is able to find them and convict them and put them away so they do not hurt someone else.”

Peter Lacey, Concerned Citizen

Peter Lacey

“Everybody needs to come out and confront this curse. It is a curse, a revolving door that opens and closes, opens and closes. It is a sore that is getting worse. Now, when it comes to our justice system, it’s the same exact thing. Instead of finding loop holes in the system to get off criminals, we need to fight for justice. Lawyers become judges eventually or lawyers become politicians and when we put criminals back on the street that is saying that we don’t give a damn about Belizean people.”

And while the protest did not attract the support that the organizers had hoped for, Betancourt says it’s not all about the numbers.

David Betancourt

“I’m not looking for numbers. One man like Martin Luther King, one man like Ghandi, like Martin Luther King the first had it in his heart to make a change and there has to be a start somewhere so I’m not worried about numbers.”

Moses Sulph

Moses Sulph

“The support out here today from my perspective could have been a little larger because this issue is not an issue of what you would consider to be a political issue. Hence, I believe there are a lot of mothers out there and fathers out there, who have young daughters and young sons, who should have seen this as something that can directly affect them also. So I would have want d to see more people out here. I’m not sure why some our elected leaders are not out here, I’m not sure why some of the unions are not out here, I am not sure why some of the churches are not out here because this is an issue that is affecting us as a country.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Among other things, FASEAC is calling for speedy trials of the suspects and for psychological assistance to enable the authorities to get the best account of what transpired.

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5 Responses for “Fathers protest against sexual abuse of children”

  1. Nerrie says:

    I applaud the group that formed this march. Awareness like this is so important in Belize. For as far back as I can remember molestation to a minors were either pushed under the rug or ignored. It was almost as if I grew up thinking it was normal.
    My heart breaks for the little victims and I’m so enraged that the judicial system put so little efforts in upgrading the penalty for these monsters.
    My brothers and Sisters of Belize I’m so proud of you for taking a stand for our precious little ones. God Bless all of you and we can only pray that our children can somehow lead a normal life after such tragedy.

  2. Nerrie Gongora says:

    I applaud this group for bringing such an awareness to the streets. Movements like these are so important in our communiity. For as long as I can remember molestation to minors was either pushed under the rug or ignored.
    The police department needs to be more vigilant when it comes to these cases and the judicial system must review the current perpetrator friendly laws and bring forht new laws that will scare the living hell out of these scum bags.
    God bless the sisters and brothers who are trying to bring awareness to this crime and we can only pray that our little ones manages to lead a normal life after this horrendous act.

  3. fromafar says:

    You know the saying right: “He nuh love yu till he beat yu”… continue telling that to your girls, and this will be the norm…

  4. Elgin Martinez says:

    Belizeans need to unite on these issues.If not all these bs in going to continue to happen.

  5. MADDYVANDIJKDEREALISTO says:

    Good job guys.

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