SEMINAR-WORKSHOP: PREVENTION AND CARE OF VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
On April 27, 28 and 29, the Seminar-Workshop, "Prevention and Care of the Sexual Abuse of Minors and Vulnerable Persons" was held in order to strengthen and support prevention of sexual abuse and accompaniment of sexually abused persons in different areas. The resource person, Dr. Patricia Espinoza, was clear and precise in her explanations. The event was attended by about 90 participants, including priests, religious and lay people.
Dr. Espinoza said that one needs to pay attention to the different aspects during their vocational discernment. She pointed out that the formation processes must attend to all areas of the human person such as spiritual, intellectual and apostolic. The human area involves the whole person. Therefore, it is necessary to give due importance to all the areas of life. She said that she was struck by the fact that there are frightening abuses in the families. There are 75 to 80 percent of abuse taking place within families. The abusers can be father, brother, uncle, grandfather, stepfather, neighbour, godfather, in other words, they are close relatives of the victim.
PROTECT AND LOVE
Dr. Patricia appeals to families to take care of their children and protect and love them. To work with families is both delicate and urgent, because there are growing number of child abuse in Latin America and children must be protected from violence. We need to educate and support families on this issue so that abuses may be STOPPED.
Education and awareness about the types of violence that families suffer in this current context is an urgent need of the day. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a work of prevention and care for the victims of abuse, in affective, psychological and spiritual areas so that one can develop oneself holistically and live one’s life with dignity and freedom.
Patricia Espinoza ended her talk with the words of Pope Francis: "A Church which, in the face of sexual abuse becomes blind, deaf and dumb, is a Church like Cain who says: 'Am I my brother's keeper?
Let us be keepers of our brothers and sisters so that: "Where there is no love, let us sow love, so that we may give birth to love."
Sr. Joilma Maurina de Jesus Matos, Bolivia Region