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Scars to hold tag day on April 27

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Charity Saving Children and Revealing Secrets will be hosting its second tag day this month as it marks child abuse prevention month.

The funds raised will go to providing the knowledge, skills and resources needed to protect and prevent children from sexual abuse.

“April is national child abuse prevention month,” Debi Ray-Rivers, the charity’s founder and executive director, told The Royal Gazette.

“Scars is doing a tag day and we are asking everyone to visit the MarketPlace stores or Miles to donate at least $1. This will allow us to continue to provide knowledge, skills and resources to protect and prevent our children from sexual abuse.”

The first “very successful” tag day of the month was at Lindos in Warwick on April 2, and Ms Ray-Rivers expressed her gratitude for volunteer organiser Carloyn Tankard and Lindos.

She added: “This month and throughout the year, Scars encourages all individuals and organisations to play a role in making Bermuda a safer place for our children. When we protect their childhood, we protect their future. We thank you for helping Scars save children from this crime.”

To date, the charity has trained 4,214 people through the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children programme, which teaches adults how to prevent, recognise and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. This is available to any organisation entrusted with the care of children and Argus offers its boardroom once a month so that members of the community can take part.

“In 2016, thus far, we have trained 353 people,” Ms Ray-Rivers said, adding that it is Scars’ goal to train all adults in Bermuda.

The charity also takes its Scars Arms Families through Education programme to PTA meetings across the island.

“For those that aren’t doing the training, they hear it in our awareness programme,” Ms Ray-Rivers said, adding that they seen 153 parents this year.

The one hour presentation features an introduction by Ms Ray-Rivers, a powerpoint presentation and a documentary screening from Darkness to Light.

They also take “child friendly and age-appropriate” educational books that parents can borrow and read with their children.

“I think its important that parents learn all they can because sexual abuse is real, it exists and it can be prevented,” Ms Ray-Rivers said.

“We need to empower our children to be secure in themselves. When we learn the facts, we empower our children to be an advocate for themselves; we empower our children to know they can come and tell us anything about anyone.”

The tag day will be held on April 27 from 8am to 8pm at eight MarketPlace stores and Miles will be asking shoppers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar. And the next training session open to members of the public will be held on April 23 from 9am to 12pm and Ms Ray-Rivers encouraged anyone to come along.

While there is no cost to participants because of the “generous corporate and community donors”.

Ms Ray-Rivers said registration was required.

For more information, visit www.scarsbermuda.com or call 297-2277. E-mail training@scars.bm to register for the training session.

Debi-Ray Rivers