Child Abuse Prevention Month – April 2017

The Department of Social Development within the Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication will join the rest of the world in April in observing National Child Abuse Prevention Month, under the theme “Nurture and Protect Me. Do not Abuse and Neglect Me.” 
 
Child abuse is a worldwide epidemic. Gruesome and heinous crimes are perpetrated against children on a daily basis. Children suffer all forms of abuse: physical, verbal, psychological and emotional and neglect and abandonment. Some of these cases of abuse are brought to the attention of the authorities and are brought to justice. However, most cases are under-reported as they are shrouded in secrecy and shame.  
 
These children suffer in silence as these situations are either not spoken of or not revealed outside the walls of where the abuse has occurred.  Some victims cannot speak to reveal the abuse or some are so afraid of identifying their perpetrators or revealing their “loved ones” or close family member(s). One case is too many. We need to end the vicious cycle of abuse.  
 
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government have partnered with UNICEF in eliminating all forms of child abuse and child sexual abuse by educating individuals on the role they play in preventing and ending child abuse. The Department of Social Development has a zero tolerance towards child abuse. 
 
The Department of Social Development and collaboration with the Domestic Violence and Sexual Offense Unit of the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force continues to investigate cases regarding sexual violence against children under the Juvenile Ordinance. Listed below are the offences to which persons are arrested, formally charged and cautioned:
 
• Attempt to commit rape and indecent assault
• Buggery
• Kidnapping 
• Cruel to Juvenile 
• Unlawful carnal knowledge 
• Incest
• Indecent assault 
• Indecent assault on a Male 
• Indecent exposure 
• Procuration
• Rape
 
The focus this year would be on continuing to sensitize the public on being able to identify the signs of abuse (particularly sexual abuse), to be aware of available reporting mechanisms and on providing strategies on preventing child abuse.   
In observance of C.A.P. Month, the Department of Social Development will host a number of activities and displays throughout the Islands:
 
• Inter High School Debate Competition (aired on RTC)
• Presentations at schools, youth groups, clinics and hospitals
• Newspaper Articles
• Radio appearances to educate community on child safeguarding 
• Community Awareness; distribution of Posters, pamphlets, brochures, Displays
• Collaboration with corporate sector to show their commitment to ending child abuse by wearing the t-shirts at their businesses  
 
The blue teddy bear logo with a plaster on its heart has a powerful branding and advocacy message. It symbolizes security, love, care, comfort and relationships. The plaster across the teddy bear’s heart was designed to offer a sense of hope and healing. Blue underlines the popular idiom for “feeling blue,” of feelings of hurt, sadness, and despair.
 
5 Ways You can help prevent child abuse in the TCI:
1. Know the signs of child abuse
2. Always stop to cool down before disciplining a child
3. Set positive examples; never use violence or put downs
4. Reach out to a parent who seems overwhelmed
5. Be there for children: listen and empathize 
 
The Honorable Minister responsible for Child Safeguarding said he is happy to join the Social Development as they bring awareness to Child Abuse Prevention during this Month,  it is important not only because of the timeline but also to help with  prevention strategies.
 
Child abuse is not only physical but can also be Emotional, Sexual and Mental. This can affect children in a negative way which result in a feeling of worthlessness forcing them to seek attention in different ways. We must strive to create a child friendly environment to ensure every child feel safe in their surroundings.
 
My Government will continue to work with the department as they develop programs and policies to help in the Preservation of our Nation most precious jewels. 

Parvo Virus Suspected on Grand Turk

The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services (MOHAHS), Agriculture and Animal Health Services Division wishes to advise Grand Turk animal owners, that there appears to be an outbreak of Parvo virus on the Island of Grand Turk. This disease can be fatal to dogs especially puppies.
 
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, especially in the intestinal tract. It also attacks the white blood cells. When young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle leading to lifelong cardiac problem. 
 
Symptoms of the virus are loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and foul smelling often bloody diarrhea which can quickly lead to life threatening dehydration.
 
This extremely contagious disease can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog's feces. The virus is very resistant, and survives in the environment for months. It is common for unvaccinated dogs to become infected when exposed to the virus.
 
Parvovirus is most harmful to puppies up to one year old and it is strongly recommended that they be vaccinated before exposing them to outside areas.  Older unvaccinated dogs are not severely affected by the virus but can still contract and shed it, thereby spreading it to different locations. The virus can exist in soil which has been the site of feces from infected dogs.  
 
It can be carried by shoes and walked into your yard where it can live in the soil for a very long time. Prevention methods include the disinfecting of your harder surfaces with the use of a strong solution of bleach.  
 
We are therefore recommending that pet owners have their animals:-
• Vaccinated as a preventative measure. 
• Not move animals from suspected infected areas to other areas.
• Contact a veterinarian If symptoms are noticed, if  unsure or notice diarrhea 
• Do not transport/ship dogs from Grand Turk to other islands without approval from the Department of Agriculture. 
• Exercise caution when handling sick animals.
 
The Department of Agriculture wishes to further advise the Grand Turk community that the veterinary team from Bark and Bliss Animal Wellness Centre on Providenciales will be in Grand Turk every Thursday to conduct test, vaccinations and treatments as necessary. These services will be provided at a cost. 
 
The veterinary team can be contacted at 649-232-2275 or the Department of Agriculture at 649-338-3881 or 338-3882.

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT RECEIVES NEW TEAM MEMBER

The Turks and Caicos Government is pleased to both welcome and congratulate Ms. Latoya Williams on her appointment as a Human Resource Officer within the Office of the Deputy Governor’s Human Resource Management Directorate.

Ms. Williams graduated from within the top five of the H.J. Robinson High School’s graduating class of 2003 and later went on to become the salutatorian of the 2005 graduating class of the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College where she graduated with an Associate Degree in Business Studies.  Ms. Williams also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Barry University in Miami, Florida.

Upon her return to the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2009, Ms. Williams gained employment with Scotiabank (Turks & Caicos Islands) Ltd. where she held the position of Customer Service Representative from 2009 to 2011 and having exuded a strong determination to provide quality customer service to clients, Ms. Williams dedicated her time to also developing via online and cross training a deeper understanding of sales, which led to her being promoted in 2011 to the position of Personal Banking Officer; a post where she achieved much success, having been named as the Top Sales Officer for Turks and Caicos Islands and having been awarded the Country Award for the financial years 2013/2014 and 2014/2015.

Ms. Williams stated that she is both extremely ecstatic and grateful to be joining the team at the Human Resource Management Directorate and believes that the Human Resource Department is the heart of any organization as it provides life to the organization by nurturing and cultivating the people of the organization. “I have always been interested in the welfare of others and have sought to motivate and to encourage others, which I believe will aid me in my new role. I intend to bring a solid foundation of experience, dedication, leadership and professional integrity to the role; while upholding the standards of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government Public Service.  My time in the private sector has helped to develop invaluable communication, time management, self-discipline, relationship building, interviewing, solicitation and telemarketing skills, which I know will be an asset to my new role.”

Deputy Governor, Anya Williams stated; “We are pleased to welcome Ms. Williams to our HR team and we are happy that she has made the Turks and Caicos civil service her career choice.  As we commence a quite ambitious recruitment plan for financial year 2017/2018, we will be counting on Ms. Williams skills to assist in ensuring that the absolute best talent is engaged by TCIG and look forward to working with her as I am sure that she will be looking forward to working with the various ministries across government to fulfil their recruitment and HR management needs.”