TORONTO, ON – St. Lucian Karlyn Percil is scheduled to share her story on being a survivor of child sexual abuse during a UNITE regional meeting to end violence against women and girls in Barbados on Tuesday, November 20.
“Child sexual abuse is something that is very taboo in our community, not only in the Caribbean but other cultures as well,” says Percil, author and inspirational speaker. “It is a silent emergency and I am proud to be a voice for this initiative. Every day innocent children are being violated, some as young as age 2.”
A growing epidemic in the Caribbean, Child Sexual Abuse affects 47.6 percent of girls and 31.9 percent of boys in the Caribbean (WHO; 2000).
The Break the Silence Initiative is a multi-pronged approach to protect children against sexual abuse.
First launched in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010 by the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of West Indies, the Break the Silence Initiative will be rolled-out by UNICEF and partners in several countries and territories across the region.
“After many years of struggling with my own abuse in silence, I have decided to stand, not only for myself but for the children who are victims of child sexual abuse and who may not have a voice. It is time to break the silence,” Percil said.
By sharing her story, Karlyn hopes to inspire and encourage other victim’s world-wide to know that they are not alone. She continued, “We are not what happened to us. We are not to blame.”
“We are pleased to have her with us. She will add a real voice to the event,” said Nadine Perrault, senior advisor-Child Protection, UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Percil said she is excited to support and work with a prestigious organisation like UNICEF.
“It is an honour to be able to contribute to strengthening the voices of children with UNICEF,” she said.
Percil is a senior project manager with Scotiabank and also a speaker, host and author of the Beauty Book Series.
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