Thursday, October 27, 2011

What is in the news here in Belize?


Sadly, we continue to hear stories of abuse in our counseling office and more stories from the community are in the news.  While we cannot talk about what we hear in the office we can share with you the news from the community.  Please keep all of the children involved in your prayers.   


Two Disturbing Sexual Assaults; One By A Step-Father, One By a Pastor
Mon, October 24, 2011
There are two disturbing stories of sexual assault to report tonight.  A 42 year old man who allegedly committed a sexual assault on his 11 year old step-daughter, was denied bail after he appeared today in the Magistrate's Court and was charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. The man pleaded not guilty but the prosecution objected to bail on the grounds that the defendant is on parole for a conviction of indecent assault on a previous step-daughter. When asked to give a good reason why he should be granted bail, the man said he met his common-law-wife about 2 years ago and she did not tell him she has 3 children.  He said the 11 year old does not like when he disciplines her and she comes home late at night and sometimes she comes home with money.  But because he is on parole for a similar offence, Chief Magistrate Ana Marie Smith remanded him into custody until November 24. The incident occurred on September 29. The child reported to the police that her step-father fondled her private parts. 


And a student of Belmopan in the presence of his mother reported that sometime in the month of June of this year, while at his pastor's house - namely Jason Neal- in Roaring Creek, he was sleeping on his sofa when he was awakened by Neal who was touching his private parts.He also reported that in the month of July of this year, Neal had touched him inappropriately.  As a result Police arrested 37 year old Pastor Jason Neal of Roaring Creek Village and charged him with 2 counts of Aggravated Assault.


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We have not heard any updates about the step-father but regarding the pastor we have heard that he was fined $3000 for each count and that he has until December 16th to pay this fine or he will have to serve jail time.

CDF has done sensitization training to make the problem of sexual abuse and exploitation known in all of the high schools here in the area and also some of the elementary schools.  For the little ones there is a Yell and Tell campaign and for the teens there is the "My Body, My Future" project.

Valley of Peace

We at CDF have spoken at churches, and to women in  villages and to youth.   Since September when a four year old was raped there have been more people who are willing to tell their stories and more cases are coming to light.  This does not mean there is more abuse going on than in the past...just that people now have the courage to talk about it.

Orange Walk Town

Pray for us as we seek to understand the existing laws and help make changes in these laws regarding how these cases are handled and the penalties involved.  Pray for the funds to continue doing outreach to various communities on this issue.  Pray for continued bravery for children, youth and adults to speak out when they or someone they know is being abused.
supporting one another in prayer in Esperanza


*clicking on the highlighted words will either take you to a news story, website or a blog post that will give more information on that subject.

8 comments:

  1. This is hard stuff to deal with isn't it? I'm thankful that you are there working with these people, educating and ministering, and bringing these issues into the light. Saying a prayer.

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  2. WOW, Alida, that's just hard all around. Praying for you guys and your ministry. It's so hard when pastors fall, too, because it makes all of us more suspect it seems. Dear Lord, cover this ministry with your protection and providence.

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  3. Alida, it is terrible but you guys are doing a great work helping to beat all this down.

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  4. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. We were heartened to know that the young man who came forward to report his pastor attends one of the high schools we spoke at. The message it getting out and people are speaking up!

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  5. It's sobering to hear this kind of thing happening Alida, but unfortunately it's all too common world-wide. God Bless you two, and for all your efforts to protect those in need.

    Have a Blessed Day!

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  6. Alida - I will pray.

    Blessings,
    joan

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  7. I'm so proud of you and Tom! Praying for so much blessing through you both to your city!

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  8. Ugh how awful. But I know what you're going through. When we were in Cambodia we spent time in a community where 50% of the girls were being sold every night for sex by their own parents. (The crazy part is that's down from 90% six years ago!)

    The reason the number is down is because the church was sharing the gospel. People were coming to know Christ. So be encouraged, your work in Christ is not in vain!!

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