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Ozzie rues need for sports anti-abuse policy

| 01/02/2017 | 29 Comments
Cayman News Service

Sports Minister launches the Child Abuse Prevention Policy for National Sports Associations

(CNS): With the launch of a new policy aimed at local sports associations to help them prevent the abuse of young athletes, Sports Minister Osbourne Bodden said that Cayman has regrettably changed and development has led to greater risks for kids playing sport. The policy is designed to deter and prevent abuse, facilitate reporting and to help sports clubs, societies and associations deal with any cases that emerge where sports coaches, volunteers or other sexual predators take advantage of the sports arena to abuse young victims.

As the UK reels from the recent mass reports of past sexual abuse, in particularly in football, the Cayman government hopes the new policy will help local sports associations deal with problems in the future, as the minister said he did not believe that there was an historical problem in the Cayman Islands.

“I never dreamed as a teenager involved in sport that we would ever need such a policy,” the minister said at a press briefing Wednesday to launch the policy, suggesting that “right minded people” looked after young people in sport when he was young and everyone “felt safe”.

But development had changed things, he said, as he implied that sexual predators were imported.

“Cayman was different back then,” the minister said, adding that while there may have been sexual abuse in sport in the past, he believed it was a more recent phenomenon because of “foreign influences”.

However, officials from the ministry and the Department of Children and Family Services made it clear that anyone who was a victim of historical sex abuse in the past can report their experience. While prosecution may be difficult for events that took place many years ago, the department will investigate and assist any victims that seek help.

In more recent years, at least one football coach has been convicted of sex crimes with a young player, and extradition proceedings are currently underway involving a high-profile local athlete’s ex-husband, who allegedly abused young athletes in Cayman when he was employed here by the Cayman Islands Athletics Association.

Although these arenas were where abusers have been identified locally, neither the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) nor CIAA were among the first sports groups to sign up to the policy. Representatives from the local netball association, the rugby union, the squash association and local boxing were the first four associations to sign up at the launch of the policy, but the minister said the rest would follow.

Joel Francis, the assistant chief officer in the ministry, said that all local sports clubs, societies and association had worked with the ministry to shape the policy and they were all signing up. The minister was also emphatic that although no sanctions have been written into the policy, any societies that do not conform will face the consequences. Bodden said the policy was in line with the requirements of the children’s law and that government had the tools to make sure clubs complied.

The draft version of the policy was sent out for consultation in October and all aspects were discussed by the major stakeholders in local associations. It requires that each association appoints an internal, trained, child protection officer for reporting purposes. The first round of child abuse prevention training-sessions will start on Cayman Brac next week and Grand Cayman later in the month.

All reports must be made to the DCFS, the statutory body responsible for the prevention, investigation and management of child abuse matters.

The ministry also confirmed that a similar policy will be devised to deal with youth organisations as well. The minister said aim was for the government to do all it could to keep children safe and to send the message that everything possible will be done to protect young people, and that abuse of children will not be tolerated.

See the policy in the CNS Library

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Like child abuse hasn’t been a local problem for decades on these islands? Don’t know where his head is on this but it clearly isn’t getting much sunshine.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    holy shit theres an elephant in the room!




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  3. Anonymous says:

    No more kiddie fiddlers!
    Parents, make sure your children are safe. End of!




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  4. Anonymous says:

    As a Caymanian I am sick and tired of the Us vs Foreigners mentality. Yes foreigners come here for a better life, but which one of you would move to a different country for a worse life? But they also pay their dues for being here. Over and over and over. And yet we still won’t completely accept them, we still distinguish between a ‘born’ Caymanian and a ‘paper’ Caymanian?

    Well get over it, we ALL came from somewhere else. Each and every of us of is an immigrant.

    There are good and bad people everywhere, one nationality is no more prone to violence than another.

    So can we please all live and work together and play together and quit the bickering?

    We all share this island. We can make Cayman a wonderful place to live for ALL, or we can continue with this hostile attitude towards foreigners, with the divisiveness which is good for no one.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Remember Caymanians came here when here was nothing and stayed and built it up (SEAMEN), the others would not come then, they come now to reap the good life that we made Cayman into, if Cayman would go back to the sixies they would all leave and come back again when we caymanians build it up again.




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    • Anonymous says:

      We can all live together when you stop insulting us.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    If there is any issue that should not devolve into “us vs them” it is this – to an abused child it matters not a bit where the perpetrator is from. Cayman’s record on child protection is not great – it’s time to put aside politics and blame games, and stop moaning about how and why there is a need to do it – just get on with it and do what is needed to protect children. Period.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    ozzie is incompetent. he should have been fired a long time ago.end of story.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Another policy roll-out in the last few months before election??!! Where was all the action by Government in the previous 3 years?!

    Other posters have already commented on Minister Bodden’s skewed views regarding “foreign influences” and casting blame other than perhaps where it belongs, so no need for me to repeat.

    Minister Bodden has demonstrated over the past 4 years that he is not suited for high-level public service. Therefore, he should stand down from running for public office. Of course the voters of Bodden Town could decide for him!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Do you all realize that policy development takes time? Why is it that all of these comments keep being made about policy rollout right before elections? That might be a plausible statement if there was nothing done prior to this point but given that govt has been steadily rolling out policies and initiatives over the entire period, the statement that policies are being done just before election is unintelligent and uninformed. This is not a political statement. I am applying it to the fact that whichever govt is in people come with this type of accusation as if the govt should stop working a year before election or something. Would that be preferable to you? Again I am not making these comments in support of the PPM. It’s a statement about us and our expectations and not the politicians. So please don’t reply to my comment with political sided comments. Let’s have a real conversation about it. CNS it would be good if you could do something directly on this topic if possible. We need to stop talking at each other and just making accusations to support our political favorites and actually tell the politicians what we want from them in this and many other areas.




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      • Diogenes says:

        Want to list all those policies that the government has rolled out over the last 4 years that have achieved anything? So that the ignorant and uninformed can appreciate that they are being unfair.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Foreign influence???? WTH???? Is he not reading the news??? XXXX

    This is the issue – Cayman mentality of head in the sand!!! Anything bad must be “foreign” couldn’t possible be one of our own!

    CNS: Sorry, I cannot include comments about ongoing court cases.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Some of your comments are really sick. Tell us how many local coahes have molested players? We have imported predators and that is real.
      Get it in your head. You people are so hypocritical Do, and you fuss, don’t do and you curse, how can you really please ungrateful, mean spirited people?




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      • Anonymous says:

        10.00 there are none so blind as those that will not see. Child abuse, animal abuse, shameful attitudes all the fault of the foreign devils right? Take the rose tinted glasses off, whilst no doubt there are criminals amongst the foreigners, there is a lot more home grown.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    This issue doesn’t arise because of development and foreign influences! What a load of crock!

    In regards to sports, it seems that anyone in Cayman can rock up and be a “coach” and anyone can form a “sports club”. No background checks, no vetting. As it is rampant anywhere else in the Islands, the sports world is all about who knows who, no questions asked.

    The other issue is that many parents drop their kids off at sports clubs or sporting events and have no clue what is actually going on, who is involved, who is who etc etc. Both of my kids are involved in various sports club and I can assure you that many parents drive up, drop their kids and leave them to their own device at those facilities for hours and hours. They don’t even bother to come out of the car or wait for other kids to arrive etc. There are many kids participating in sports where nobody actually knows who the parents are, they have never been seen and the coaches or other parents end up driving these kids home to avoid them having to walk. The majority of those coaches and parents obviously do this with good intentions, however, those kids who do not have a present parent in the lives are obviously the perfect victim for such heinous crimes.




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  10. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, what would the “$&#%ing driftwood” need of an anti-abuse pledge? #irony




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  11. Anonymous says:

    Government remains very nonchalant about CIFA’s abuses. The whole point of funding football was to provide a safe place for kids away from the hard realities of home and community and give them an outlet of fellowship and belonging. Clearly nothing has improved, financially, philosophically or otherwise if CIFA refuse to sign an anti-abuse pledge! Maybe we can console ourselves in the fact that so many funds were diverted that there is little youth program remaining!




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    • Anonymous says:

      I thought the topic read Sports anti-abusue. Come on haters, complainers.




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    • Chris Johnson says:

      Does CIFA still exist? They have no web site, no money and Ramoon and the board have done nothing to try and recover the misspent monies misappropriated by members of his board and their predecessors. What have the club’s done? Answer NOTHING.

      Football needs new leaders who can stand up and be countered! Where are they? Surely there is someone out there.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    Nice bit of anti-foreigner prejudice there. He is implying child abuse is caused by foreigners when the local rates of domestic abuse and child abuse and the attitudes to that abuse are appalling. Surely the better statement would be “Cayman has changed as regrettably we can no longer sweep widespread child abuse under the carpet or turn a blind eye to it.” A classy politician would hold the community accountable, not try to blame others. But one cannot expect class from the man who thinks there is nothing wrong with the term “Driftwood” for long term settled resident Caymanians.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    This policy should have been done years ago. It is sad that our own F’n Driftwood Minister is suggesting that “foreign influences” are the main problem nowadays. Really?!? Like Cayman does not have any of its own perverts, child molesters and sicko’s. XXX
    Any political party that allows such a person like you to stay in a cabinet position after such an incident makes one question – should he be a Minister? or should he go back to the restaurant and be a bartender?




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    • Anonymous says:

      6:12 am Typical complainer, not able to grasp the message or topic. Every one knows that their are child molesters, but that’s not the topic. Sports is now a new area of molestation.




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  14. Fire says:

    It’s about god damn time they took their head out of their asses and addressed the real problems infecting our society. Historical child abuse has been going on far longer than you care to believe Ozzie and can be traced back to slavery here in the Cayman Islands. With the growing population more than quadrupled since the last 50+ years will mean that the number of crimes like abuse would have risen as well. It’s always been there Ozzie, no need to blame foreign influences when it is an homegrown problem.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    We should not forget that sexual abuse of children (outside of sport) is very common in this country, and in the vast majority of cases local people are involved.




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    • anonymous says:

      Cousins, uncles, brothers and mom’s boyfriends pluds grandpas.




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      • Anonymous says:

        As the saying goes, better late than never!!physical, sexual or any other form of abuse towards any person, child or adult is wrong and should be discouraged and dealt with whether home grown or imported. I cannot believe that so much energy and print has been wasted on trying to place or deflect the blame on expat or home grown. If this policy will be instrumental in stamping out abuse then that is a good thing, isn’t it? However I do believe that we ” home- grown” people need to do much due deligence when hiring and putting persons home- grown or otherwise in charge of our children and stop crossing the lines of business with friendship. Sometimes we get in so deep with the ” friend-friend thing” that we lose our perspective and drop our defenses. MInisters, Managers and people in charged of these programs need to stop fraternizing with the ” paid help” and take on a no nonsense attitude. If money, our money is being paid out to get these programs going then they should be run as a business. We need to get value for money and at the end of the day our kids have to be the beneficiaries of a safe environment and proper training that will result in well balanced skillful individuals.




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