Monday, April 15, 2013

My Body is Precious...

In tonight's news, here in Belize, is a story about a new children's book:

Special Book Launch for Children

The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with the Ministry of Human Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund this morning launched “My body is precious” a book for little ones discussing the topic of child sexual abuse.

The book depicts three children discussing their knowledge of good and bad touch, and the person who blew the life into these characters is Starla Bradley Acosta, the Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department in the Ministry of Human Development.  She told Love News that her inspiration came in part by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow who approached her about writing a book on the topic.

Starla Bradley Acosta:
"She approached me through the CEO at the time, even before I was working at the ministry to partner on this project and I immediately said yes because talking about the issue of sexual abuse, it has to start in the home; it's the parents' responsibility to have that discussion.  We are not taking that away from the parent but we are hoping to help the parents by giving them this book as tool to become comfortable with the information and to talk to their children about sexual abuse and to transmit some of the family values that they want their children to have.  It's a primary prevention tool, it's prevention education; this by itself can't stop sexual abuse if a perpetrator is more powerful but it's the first line of defense, if you will, in the sense that is gives children that voice, it teaches them that their bodies are precious , that it should be respected and each part  should be called by name and that other people should respect it too.  Regarding, the distribution, right now we are targeting from Infant 2 to Standard 2 and each child countrywide is going to get a copy but really and truly it's for early childhood up to about 8 or 9 years old; from very young, from the time you start reading to your baby you can start reading this book to them and it's something we hope will not just be read once."

The launching of the book took place at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and featured the welcome address by Kim Simplis Barrow and remarks by the Minister of Education Patrick Faber and Country Representative for UNICEF, Christine Norton.  Various primary schools attended and were delighted to a skit portraying the plot of the book.

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