STATEMENT| It is unfortunate that it took the alleged heinous circumstances surrounding the death of four-year-old Bella Walker to spark public outrage, condemnation and a renewed focus on the issues of child abuse and child protection.
There is more than sufficient blame to go around for our societal failings in this regard. I express heartfelt condolences to the family of young Walker as they struggle and pray to make sense of this apparent senseless and unspeakable tragedy. My thoughts and prayers and that of the Prime Minister are with the affected family during this difficult period.
I remain confident that the relevant authorities will thoroughly investigate and secure swift justice for young Bella Walker.
I commit the Office of the Spouse to working closely with the government, local NGO’s and my CARICOM counterparts to bring sustained public awareness, in addition to policy and legislative proposals designed to offer greater protection to our young and the most vulnerable among us.
Bahamians everywhere are encouraged to be agents of change by lending their collective voices of outrage, intolerance and advocacy in support of our children and the vulnerable. We are parents, sisters, brothers and when we commit ourselves to consistently being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers – we can cause for a social and cultural shift in our behavior toward one another.
God help us all.