SCARS and Centre Against Abuse hosted a Partner in Prevention Recognition Ceremony in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April).
SCARS and Centre Against Abuse recognized government agencies and departments that have partnered with them to put prevention mechanisms in place to decrease the risk of sexual assault, or who work on the frontlines to support survivors of sexual assault. The Government Departments that were saluted for their work and presented with a plaque as a Partner in Prevention included: The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs; Department of Public Prosecution; Department of Education; Environmental Health; Ministry of Health; Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation; Bermuda Police Service; Child Development Programme; Child & Family Services - Foster Care Department; Works & Engineering; Mirrors Programme, Kim Jackson; Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners; Bermuda Police Service - Vulnerable Persons Unit; Department of Child and Family Services
Debi Ray Rivers, Founder and Executive Director of SCARS, and Laurie Shiell, Executive Director of Centre Against Abuse, thanked the hardworking dedicated members of our Government and the Public Service who have a heart for children and truly care about child protection. They noted that Bermuda is leading the world in prevention! Over 16% (8,798 adults) of our adult population certified in sexual abuse prevention!
Dr. Derrick Binns, Head of the Public Service, offered his congratulations to all the public servants who have dilligently worked along with SCARS and Centre Against Abuse to offer prevention training, certification, and education.
Pictured above: Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Senator the Hon. Kathy Lynn Simmons JP, Ray Rivers, Laurie Shiell
Since taking office, the Hon. Kathy Lynn Simmons has revised the Criminal Code Amendment Act to include reforms to improve the management and treatment of sex offenders while in custody and after release to protect our children and the public at large. The Amendment also includes a formalized electronic sex offender register maintained by AG’s Chambers.
Most significantly, the Attorney General, the Hon Kathy Simmons is the first AG to use the discretionary power of the Office to disclose information in relation to sex offenders who are considered to present a risk of significant harm to the health or safety of the public, an affected group of people, or an individual.
Pictured above: BPS Vulnerable Persons Unit Arthur Glasford, Sharnita Tankard, Kareema Flood, La’Toyia Raynor,and Bernadette Lawrence.
This team of BPS professionals are specially trained officers that come to the hospital to obtain a statement from the survivor, and to collect the completed sexual assault kit in case it is required for prosecution of a crime.
Pictured above: Department of Works and Engineering, representative Cal Waldron, Ray Rivers and Laurie Shiell Smith
Following SCARS training, the Department of Works and Engineering installed a glass panel on all school doors in public primary and middle schools. As part of the prevention training, the Department of Education teachers asked for window panels to be installed, as a prevention method windows on doors allow for greater transparency and reduce risk. To date, these schools that have glass panels installed - Port Royal, Paget, Heron Bay, Harrington Sound and Success Academy.
Pictured above: Ray Rivers, Nurse Examiner Gaynell Hayward, Laurie Shiell Smith ( Missing from photo Judith Brewster and Karen Raynor)
Registered Nurses, Gaynell Caesar Hayward, Judith Brewster and Karen Raynor, have received special training to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault survivors. Additionally, they conduct a forensic exam on the survivors following an assault, and provide expert testimony of the forensics if a case goes to trial.
Pictured above: Ray Rivers, Maria Sofianos, Larry Mussenden and Laurie Shiell Smith (Missing from photo Cindy Clarke)
THE DPP office staff have received SCARS training and continues to support the work of SCARS.
Pictured above: Ray Rivers, Department of Child and Family services representative Maureen Trew, Laurie Shiell Smith (missing from photo Lisa Talbot)
Provided support to survivors (under 18) and their family, and assist them in understanding their rights and services available to them.
Pictured above: Ray Rivers, Bermuda Police Service Commissioner Stephen Corbishley, BPS representative Anton Gilbert, Laurie Shiell Smith
The Bermuda Police Service now requires all new recruits to receive mandatory prevention training and be certified by SCARS. SCARS have certified over 300 police officers to date.
Pictured above: Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation representative Nadine Henry, Ray Rivers, Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation representative Kerri Bridgewater, Laurie Shiell Smith
The Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation requires all afterschool workers and staff to have completed training and be certified by SCARS.
Pictured above: Ray Rivers, Department of Health representative Verona Darell, Laurie Shiell Smith ( Missing from photo Armell Thomas)
The Department has now made it mandatory for all daycare and nursery school staff to received SCARS training in order for the facility to receive a license and permission to operate.
Pictured above: Ray Rivers, The Department of Health, representatives, David Kendall, Tom Crosson, Robyn Skinner, and Laurie Shiell Smith
This year the Department of Health has published Bermuda’s first Child Care Standards that include the prevention of child abuse for all daycare and nursery schools on-island. The Standards are a working document developed to provide support to our island’s parents, day care providers (persons caring for children in the home) and at day care centres.
Pictured above: Ray Rivers, Department of Child and Family Services, representative Selena Simons, Laurie Shiell Smith
The Department of Child and Family Services requires all foster parents to receive SCARS training and be certified before children are placed in foster homes.