Drive to stop sexual assault

| 07/04/2009

(CNS): Talking about the issue of sexual assault is one of the messages that the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation (ESRF) wants to get across to the Cayman Islands community as it joins with other groups around the world this April to support Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2009 (SAAM). “To increase public awareness about the problem of sexual assault and to encourage community involvement, ESRF has adopted the theme: Believe, Talk, Act,” the foundation said.


Estella Scott-Roberts was the first Director of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre (CICC), and instrumental in organising the first observance of SAAM in the Cayman Islands in 2005.  “By choosing the theme – Believe, Talk, Act – the ESRF is honouring Estella’s memory as she epitomized the strength it took to believe in something so passionately that she always talked-the-talk and was never afraid to act when necessary,” the foundation said in a statement.

“The theme of – Believe, Talk, Act – is also a strong message to our community that we must not only believe, and understand, that sexual assault is taking place in our country at an alarming rate against our children and women; but we must also talk about the issue with our friends and our family, and we must join together as a community to stop this horrific crime.”

The foundation notes that sexual assault has long been kept a secret in the Cayman Community. In families, churches and schools people remain silent however, believing, talking and acting are the first steps in supporting sexual assault survivors, holding perpetrators accountable, and preventing sexual assault from continuing.

“There are organisations in the Cayman Islands such as the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, RCIPS’ Family Support Unit, Empowerment and Community Development Agency (formerly Women’s Resource Centre), Department of Counselling Services, and The Wellness Centre which offer services to sexual assault survivors and their significant others, friends or family members. Whether theassault happened last night or 30 years ago, whether the perpetrator was a stranger, an acquaintance or a family member; whether it happened in the victims’ home or in some unfamiliar place; whatever the circumstances, help is available,” the foundation said.

Rayle Roberts, Estella’s husband and Chairperson of the ESRF said that Believe, Talk, Act applies to the community we live in.  “Until we are able to believe survivors, talk about issues surrounding sexual assault, and come together to take action against this crime, we will be unable to continue to change the attitudes that have made this crime acceptable to so many,” he said.

The ESRF said it has a number of initiatives arranged for Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2009 such as co-hosting with the CICC a ‘Breakfast with the Candidates’ event on 25 April and other public awareness initiatives that focus on this month’s theme; details will be made available to the community shortly.



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  1. Anonymous says:

    The saddest part about that lady at Estella’s vigil is that she was dating a budding politician at the time. So we see that it starts at the top.

    It’s no wonder that we have not been able to even address this at the legislative issue. They simply don’t care because they are part of the problem.

    That is why I say – put some good people in the LA who have already spoken out about this issue – like Sandra Catron.

  2. Anonymous says:


    I am glad to see that we are continuing to educate the public and community about stopping violence on women and children.  But are we bold enough to expose those who are doing this?  We are friends and relatives to men who are beating their wives and women and we do nothing.  

    I was so sorry to hear the lady at Estella Scott-Robert’s candle light ceremony say that her man (not sure if it was husband or boyfriend) mother asked her not to press charges because he was her only means of support.  So the lady did not press the charges; her reason being that she has a mother and would do anything for her.  This is the problem.  We are always justifiying and rationalizing not reporting them.  A good mother would not ask a woman to do such a thing.  Because she would do see that woman as her daughter and do the right thing.  

    All the education in the world is not going to help us if we do not act!!!  As mothers we must train our young boys and girls the right way to handle conflict in relationships – not to attack verbally, emotionally or physically.  Children will grow up to be adults and live what they learn – and what we tolerate from them.