Students on the sister islands heard presentations from social workers as part of Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. (Photo: GIS)

Government social workers recently visited several schools on the sister islands to educate students about child abuse and the importance of reporting it.

On Virgin Gorda, a Social Development Department team went to the Bregado Flax Eductional Centre, the Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School, and the Ciboney Centre for Excellence on April 25.

They also visited the Jost Van Dyke Primary School and the Claudia Creque Educational Centre on Anegada.


“This empowerment helps children understand that they have a right to speak up and seek help if they ever experience or witness abuse,” explained Laurel Freeman, the programme director for Children and Family Support Services.

“Education also plays a vital role in preventing child abuse by raising awareness and teaching children about safe and appropriate behaviour.”

Ms. Freeman added that by understanding boundaries and recognising warning signs, children can avoid potentially dangerous situations and protect themselves from harm.

“Usually, these school visits are done on Tortola, but we thought it was important to involve the sister islands, because child abuse is not selective,” she said. “It is something that any child can experience, and we wanted the children on the sister islands to know the steps and measures they can take to ensure their voices are being heard.”

The school visits were part of the SDD’s activities in observance of Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. This year’s observance is themed, “Pinwheels for Prevention: Protecting Children is Everyone’s Business.”