The Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC) hosted a Virtus online training using Zoom on April 7. Participants were coordinators of parish ministries for Migrants and Refugees. The theme was Protecting God’s children.
The training was arranged by the Archdiocesan Ministry for Migrants and Refugees. AFLC Episcopal Delegate Tricia Syms was the facilitator while Cheryl Moses-Williams of the Children’s Authority led a segment.
Having experienced this exercise at Mt St Benedict last year, I was reminded of the trauma of the victims, and the cunning and patience of the predators.
In comparing the online training with the live training, both sessions have their advantages and disadvantages. I found that I was more interactive at the online exercise.
Interacting online gave me more freedom to express my thoughts and ideas, and I was more focused. The disadvantage of the online training was that the personal interaction was missing. Although my personal internet operates well, drops in communication were an issue.
As I watched the videos and listened to the victims, I was able to connect with their emotions. The victims had no control over their situations. They were helpless and I empathised with their vulnerability.
The trauma of all the victims could never be erased. Counselling and physical support would lead to some recovery, but total or absolute recovery may never be achieved.
Someone shared a personal experience of a young lady being moved from living with a sexually abusive stepdad to live with an uncle before living with a pastor, all of whom abused her. The adults responsible for her care placed her with male persons who took advantage of her.
I think as care providers, the responsibility to seek the best care to provide protection for victims is of utmost importance.
As I listened to the predators, I became even more aware of the evil that exists amongst us. Predators go to great lengths to seek out their victims. They target their victims: they study their movements, their environment, the movement of the persons that are involved in the lives of the victims.
The victims are almost helpless. Everything is done without the knowledge of the victims. Although I think that these predators are experiencing psychological issues, harsher punishments should be employed to reduce the crime.
Protecting God’s children is everybody’s business. A more in-depth analysis into the resolution of this tricky situation is required.
— Charmaine Trim-Pascall, participant