26 August 2018 | The Jamaican Union Conference of the Adventist Church is calling on church members in the country to report all forms of abuse. A statement from the church says that abuse is becoming an ever more serious problem in the Adventist and greater Christian community in the country.
“We live in a Jamaica where [last] week a young woman was raped and burned near to her home and although she was crying rape, and persons heard, she died a gruelling death,” said Dr. Lorraine Vernal, family, children and adolescent director for the denomination in the country. She was speaking at the Family & EndItNow Conference at the Kencot Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kingston this past Saturday, August 25.
“I ask that when we are made aware of any such atrocities, the response cannot be about saving the job or reputation of the perpetrator. Do not sacrifice our children and youth for somebody’s job or reputation. Do not cause them to feel guilty about talking about things that hurt them or make them uncomfortable. Do not pass judgement, such as ‘is play he/she was playing,’ when you didn’t investigate. Report the cases. Do not worry about ‘informer fi dead’ because we can make reports anonymously,” appealed Vernal.
The Jamaica Observer reported that Vernal also tackled abuse of males saying, “Don’t laugh when our men and boys are victims of abuse. No abuse is funny. When a woman abuses a male, it is not cute or okay.”
According to the Seventh-day Adventist denomination’s Office of Archives Statistics and Research, there are 304,021 members and 683 churches in Jamaica.