SCARS’ mission is to reduce the risk of Child Sexual Abuse and to be an advocate and voice for children who have been sexually molested as well as their affected family.
SCARS stands for Saving Children And Revealing Secrets.
SCARS was granted it’s charitable status by the Registrar General of Bermuda on October 27, 2011 – Registration #922.
SCARS is Bermuda’s only child sexual abuse prevention charity organization. It was formed to create greater awareness of the devastation that child sexual abuse can cause in the life of a child, a family and a community. SCARS offers, at no cost to the community, prevention training, awareness programs and informational resources for healing.
Child sexual abuse can have a catastrophic impact on a victim’s life. The real tragedy is that it robs children of their innocence and without proper support it could lead victims to suffer a wide range of psychological, physical and social problems in varying degrees.
As quoted by the Darkness to Light organization in the US, “Reported cases of Child Sexual Abuse represent the 2nd most expensive VICTIM crime behind murder – costing the US billions annually. If child sexual abuse left physical scars instead of emotional ones, people would be horrified.”
In Bermuda, statistics are difficult to obtain because most victims do not disclose or report their abuse, but WHAT we do know is that Child Sexual Abuse exists in our community and it is quite prevalent.
SCARS’ mission is to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse by raising public awareness and speaking to key decision makers to put policies and procedures in place that best protect our children from the crime of Child Sexual Abuse. We do this through prevention and awareness programs, an adult training program, and we provide resources for healing such as psychiatric care, spiritual support and a list of agencies available to help.
Our intent is to ensure that our message is presented to all adults including Parent-Teacher Associations, Youth Serving Organizations, Sports Programs, Faith-Based Groups and all other organizations that are entrusted with children in our community.
The focus of our organization is to stop sexual abuse before it happens, to provide information on where to report sexual abuse and find resources for psychiatric care, spiritual support, and agencies that provide assistance if it does happen. Prevention is the key; by the time the police, government support agencies or therapists get involved, the molestation has already occurred and a scar has formed.
If SCARS can reduce the number of sexually molested children in our community, the result will be a reduction in drug abuse, alcoholism, teen pregnancies, mental illness, self injurious behaviors, eating disorders, promiscuity, violence, and suicide.
The key to the success of SCARS is the passionate and committed Board Members, Officers, Committee Members and our Volunteers.
Accomplishment 1: More than 5,000 people trained since inception
Organisations dealing with the social issues plaguing our country, all say that varying forms of abuse, including the prevalence of child sexual abuse, play a significant role in the problems we are dealing with today. This means that child sexual abuse is everyone’s’ problem because it is an issue that is affecting our social fabric at its very core…it is damaging the very essence of our country… our children!
The ultimate objective of SCARS is to end child sexual abuse. This can only be accomplished through prevention, awareness and education. We know that we will change the way Bermuda protects and nurtures our children. How do we know? We know because we have already seen change! More court cases, more people talking about the issue, and we have achieved the tipping point!
The Tipping Point Theory
Tipping Point is a theory presented in the book, “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell. The basic theory is that if 5% of a given population changes their behavior, a cultural shift is created and a momentum builds that, with continued work, may actually change societal values. Gladwell talks about how the adoption of an idea or an endorsement of a product by a few key influencers in a given population can lead to widespread change or shift in behavior.
It makes sense for SCARS to apply the tipping point theory to our community-based child sexual abuse prevention initiative. If the theory is valid, then a training goal of 5% of the adult population in Bermuda will create a change in the norm such that child sexual abuse is no longer tolerated.
Bermuda tipping point: (www.census.gov)
Adult Population: 60,000 x 75% = 45,000
Tipping Point: 45,000 x 5% = 2,250
To date we have trained more than 5,000 adults in Bermuda.
1.SCARS aim is to continue to provide education and awareness programs to the community at no cost to participants. Each training kit costs approx. $26 per person. Our SAFE awareness program costs approx. $5 per person.
2. A database management system to enable us to store, modify and extract information from our yearly trainings, organizations, participants and volunteers. $10,000
3.A small van to help transport our AV equipment and training/awareness supplies. $40,000
4.General operating costs and office expenses.
5.Media and Marketing/Advertising Campaign - $15,000
Childhood Sexual Abuse can be the deepest pain because it is inflicted early in our life and because it involves people who should have been trustworthy.
The perpetrators of our pain are usually the people who are supposed to love and care for us. 90% of abusers are people we know love and trust.
The pain of childhood sexual abuse can cause us to question our faith, it can cause us to blame ourselves, it can cause us to hate & abuse our body, it can cause us to mistrust people, it can cause us to hurt others, and it causes brokenness in our families.
This pain can grow into bitterness, hatred, guilt, shame, depression, rejection, abandonment, low self-esteem, anger and insecurities of all kinds.
Emotional wounds from sexual abuse can cut deeper than any physical injury ever could. Our families scars are hard to recognize because the scars of sexual abuse are mostly on the inside and these emotional wounds are slow to heal. SCARS are left behind after sexual abuse and this is why we must do everything we can to prevent it, and respond appropriately when it occurs.
What do we think sexual abuse does to children? Where do we think this pain goes?
Some SCARS are soothed or numbed through addictions. Something we do to cope or alleviate the pain. Something we run to when we are hurting or feel lonely. Sometimes its the only thing we have control over.
These addictions come in many varieties such as drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling, self-harm and yes, even approval. These walls of addiction help keep people and/or circumstances from hurting us.
Sometimes our propensities have something to do with our unhealed childhood scars. The scars of unworthiness, intimacy issues and destructive relationships.
Sometimes we act out because of our own pain. “I can hurt me by hating you”. Sadly our addiction becomes our controller.
Revealing is the first part of healing our scar. The healing of my heart involved the healing of my pain.
I am happy to report that I have been healed from the pain of my past. My SCARS represent a battle, which I have fought and won.
What was meant to harm me became the purpose in my life.
My SCARS are now my message!
I wish each & every victim the healing of their childhood scar!
Whether you’re a parent, a family member, a youth serving organization, a teacher, a coach, a member of a church, or a babysitter it’s important to know how to protect the children in your life from sexual abuse.
Learn the facts, minimize the opportunity, talk about it, recognize the signs and react responsibly are important steps in protecting the children who are entrusted in your care.
Due to the continuous generosity of our corporate & community donors, this training is offered at no cost to participants. Donations are always welcomed!
Stewards of Children is an award winning prevention training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program is designed for organizations that serve youth, entrusted with the care of children, and for individuals concerned about the safety of children. It is the only nationally distributed, evidence based program proven to increase knowledge, improve attitudes, and change child protective behaviors.
Some of the outcomes of the program are as follows:
· Increased awareness of the prevalence, consequences, and circumstances of child sexual abuse
· New skills for adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse
· Positive change to organizational policies and procedures
· Individual commitment to action through a personal prevention plan
Increased awareness of the prevalence, consequences, and circumstances of child sexual abuse
Our SAFE program provides a “tool box” of information for parents, guardians and organizations entrusted with the care of children. This 1 hour presentation includes information on the statistics of Child Sexual Abuse in both Bermuda and the U.S., important information parents should know and teach their child about child sexual abuse, questions parents should ask when enrolling their child in a program, inappropriate behaviors to watch for when adults are with children, warning signs which are cause for concern for young and older children, information on how to protect your child on the internet and information on how sex offender’s groom and seduce their victims. We also bring along a selection of books from our Lending Library for parents to take home to read to their children to learn about the issue and ways to prevent abuse from occurring.
SCARS’ objective is to raise awareness of child sexual abuse in Bermuda and it’s devastating effects on both children and their family members.
Our intent is to ensure that our message is presented to all Parent-Teacher Associations, Youth Serving Organizations, Sports Programs, Church Groups and all other organizations who have access to children in our community.
Our focus is to stop sexual abuse before it happens and to provide resources for support if it does happen. Prevention is the key because by the time the police, a government support agency or a therapist gets involved, the molestation has already occurred and a scar has formed.