Charity urges abuse victims to come forward
A children’s charity has urged young victims of sexual abuse to come forward while insisting “it is never too late for offenders to be brought to justice”.
The call from the Coalition for the Protection of Children comes after well-known footballer Quinton Wendell Baxter admitted a string of sex offences against three boys in the 1970s and the 1980s.
Baxter, 58, pled guilty to 18 separate charges of indecent assault and similar offences at Supreme Court last week — more than 20 years after he committed the crimes.
“This case underscores the reality that untold secrets can infect our community, while speaking out against child sexual abuse opens up a pathway towards healing and prevention,” Kelly Hunt, the charity’s executive director, said.
“We are reminded by the outcome that it is never too late to come forward or be prosecuted for this serious crime.”
Baxter has been remanded in custody pending his sentencing, which is expected to be fixed at the beginning of next month.
Ms Hunt told The Royal Gazette that all of the community had a role to play to help ensure effective intervention and proper treatment to those affected by child abuse.
She said: “The Coalition is committed to early preventive education and is offering the Speak Up Be Safe Programme in primary schools.
“Aimed at preventing abuse before it occurs, this evidence-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum helps to equip children with skills they need to play a role in the prevention or interruption of child abuse.
“Primarily, it is empowering. Children must be reminded how special they are and that no one is allowed to hurt them on purpose.
“If they have been hurt, it isn’t their fault and they can tell a trusted adult who follows the ‘safety rules’.
“If they are confused about something that has happened or unsure about what is happening, they can talk to their ‘safe adult’.
“Ultimately, it is an adult’s responsibility to keep our children safe and we must work together tirelessly to that end.”