45 Graduate From Victim Support Training Programme
45 persons received their certificate of completion, when a graduation ceremony was held at the Public Service Union, on the afternoon of Wednesday May 7th 2014, following a six week Victim Support Training Programme.
Tina Alexander, Trainer of the Programme pointed out that a number of areas need improvement, as they relate to the reporting of child sexual abuse and prosecuting the perpetrators of child sexual abuse and gender based violence.
Some include; the lengthy court process for the prosecution of persons accused of crimes, the stalling of cases when accused persons are off Island, no option to give evidence via video, and persons allegedly taking bribes to discontinue cases.
She thanked the participants for taking time from their busy schedules, to attend the course so they can be better equipped in dealing with victims of sexual abuse and or rape.
Meanwhile Assistant Superintendent of Police, Claude Weekes said, dealing with sexual abuse cases requires the collaborative approach of all involved, and the public must not think it lies solely with the police.
The public must ensure that the due process of Law is not contaminated or derailed, as the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
ASP Weekes advised the graduates that they must not just hang up their certificates as another accomplishment, but get active with the training they have acquired to help those who need it.
He also sounded a strong warning to the parents of abused children not to accept any bribe or in local terms “Hush Money” in exchange for derailing the case, as when this is done they are using their children for financial gain which is not right.
Participant, Delia Cuffy Weekes explained that the training exposed her to a lot of new information about victims of sexual abuse and shed light that there are many people out there who are hurting from their experience.
She went on to say, that the participants of this course are now better persons after learning such valuable information.
Other participants included; Rachel Andrew, Michelle Belle, Roselyn Daisy, Robertson Fontaine and Claudia Henderson.
The course was funded by the British High Commission.