The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica is calling on its more than 300,000 members, other church groups and the wider society to take a stand against violence and abuse of all kind especially against children and adolescent.
“The victims should be our priority. It cannot be about saving face, it’s about saving lives,” said Dr. Lorraine Vernal, family, women, child and adolescent director for the church in Jamaica as she addressed members of the press during the launch of the Year of Child and Adolescent at the church’s regional headquarters in Kingston on April 24, 2018.
Dr. Lorraine Vernal, family, women, children and adolescent director for the church in Jamaica deliversthe main address on April 24, 2018. Photo by Nigel Coke
“Let us be intentional as parents, teachers and authority figures about learning the difference between abuse and discipline,” said Vernal. “We must break the silence about all types of abuse and report them, even if the perpetrator is a relative, pastor or community leader.”
Vernal stated that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to making its church a safe place for children and adolescents. “We take seriously our responsibility to minimize the risk of child sexual abuse and violence against children in the congregational setting. As leaders we must see attacks on our children as evil and so we must live ethically and pay attention to making our churches and other institutions safe places for the young.”