Sexual abuse within families is rarely discussed. The problem runs rampant around the world, and according to UNICEF is a priority of the organization’s to address in the Caribbean. There, UNICEF reports 40 per cent of child sexual abuse cases are perpetuated by parents or step parents. Karlyn Percil, a St. Lucian native who has been living in Toronto for the last decade, is a survivor of child sexual abuse.

Percil told her story of child abuse publicly for the first time last year on the OWN Canada TV Show, “Life Story Project”. She is also the Ambassador for UNICEF’s Break The Silence Initiative. To add more to her list of achievements, she’s created the first sexual assault PSA for the Toronto Police Services. It’s a social media initiative seeking to get 500,000 pledges to end sexual abuse against children in the Caribbean and around the world.

The campaign will run until April 10, 2015. When a person signs the UNICEF online pledge he or she will receive a tiny teddy bear with a bandage over its heart. The bandage will have the person’s home country’s flag on it. The goal is to have people post the image to their social media channels or change it to their profile picture.

The overall goal is to show authorities that people want change and demand that the culture of silence ends.

Faduma Mohamed