Blue Teddy Bear: Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Pins
The symbol of the Blue Teddy Bear was designed specifically to raise awareness of CSA and to show that the prevalence of CSA can be reduced.
Type of intervention
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Communities/Families | Primary prevention | Young Adults (18-20 years), Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | English
Adult members of a community.
The Blue Teddy Bear symbol was created at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), The University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago, as part of a larger project titled “Breaking the Silence: A Multi-Sectoral Approach to Preventing and Addressing Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in Trinidad and Tobago”. Blue Teddy Bear lapel pins have been produced by and can be ordered from The Pin People.
Mode and context of delivery
The symbol of the Blue Teddy Bear with a plaster on its heart was designed specifically to raise awareness of CSA. The symbol was launched in Trinidad and Tobago in 2008 and launched in Jamaica and Barbados by UNICEF in 2012. It is hoped by raising awareness of the issue and greater public dialogue, the prevalence of CSA can be reduced.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
This awareness raising campaign is ongoing; people are encouraged to wear a ‘Blue Teddy Bear’ pin badge to raise awareness about Child Sexual Abuse.
Description of intervention
The ‘Break the Silence Initiative’ and the ‘Blue Teddy Bear Campaign’ aim to reach victims and their families with a message to speak out about, denounce and reduce the stigma and shame that surrounds child sexual abuse. It is also hoped that the initiative can be used to influence policy makers, health workers and the police to ensure that sources of support are made available to victims of Child Sexual Abuse.
The main objectives of the ‘Break the Silence’ awareness raising campaign are:
- To increase public awareness of the issues surrounding CSA, incest and the implications of these for HIV/AIDS
- To support communities and to prompt development of services for victims.
- To break the silence that has surrounded childhood incest and other forms of CSA in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region, in order to increase visibility of the problem and reduce the acceptability of the behaviour.
The aim of the Blue Teddy Bear Campaign was to create an ethnic and gender sensitive visual symbol - the Blue Teddy Bear - that would:
- Be positive and offer a sense of hope and healing (thus the plaster on its heart)
- Help remove the stigma attached to the issue by encouraging open conversations around CSA
- Offer the general public and community members (outside of interventions) a way in, to become aware of; educate themselves and confront the issues of child sexual abuse and childhood incest
- Give individuals, Non-Governmental Organisations and community-based organisations an easily visible tool that could easily be shared and promoted and in so doing create wider support for preventing CSA.
The project team hopes that the Blue Teddy Bear symbol will become associated with public condemnation of CSA/incest not only in Trinidad and Tobago, but also regionally and perhaps even globally.
“Child sexual abuse: There are no innocent bystanders. Silence is acceptance - Break the Silence.”
There is no evaluation information available to include at the time of writing
- Reid, S. D., Reddock, R., & Nickenig, T. (2014). Breaking the silence of child sexual abuse in the Caribbean: A community-based action research intervention model. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 23(3), 256-277.
“In Trinidad and Tobago, little data exists on child sexual abuse, although there are many anecdotal reports of high prevalence. The Breaking the Silence Gender and Community Empowerment Model is a multidisciplinary intervention to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse in Trinidad and Tobago. It is an innovative, gender-sensitive intervention that uses a community based action research methodology anchored in a national framework. Preliminary evaluation of the Breaking the Silence model shows increased knowledge of child sexual abuse, increased willingness to discuss child sexual abuse, and an impact that goes beyond the target communities. This model can be replicated in communities to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse and adapted to address other sensitive social issues in the Caribbean.”
The University of the West Indies
St Augustine Campus
Tel: (868) 662-2002, Exts. 82013, 82014
INFORMATION CORRECT AT SEPTEMBER 2020