A second Petition calling for the childcare abuse memorial to be reconsidered has gathered over 1,000 signatures in just three days and is now awaiting a response from Minister. If the petition reaches 5,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in the States Assembly.
The Petition created by an abuse survivor says:
The very act of ignoring the voices of abuse survivors is being symbolically repeated, with the proposed erection of a memorial that has the potential to re-ignite feelings in many of those who have been unheard at the lowest point of their lives and now oppose this statue and what it stands for.
In recent times it’s been proven that statues hold more emotional weight than ever before. But yet the Government want to erect a Statue for Child Abuse Victims.
Abuse survivors and the general public are once again asking their Government to listen and not to go forward with the erection of this memorial.
A previous Petition had over 3,000 signatures, Childrens Minister Sam Mesec responded to the first petition with the following
We understand and appreciate Islanders’ concerns about the Memorial. As a key part of our overall response to the Care Inquiry, it must be a sensitive focus for reflection and an enduring promise to Jersey’s children.
After a long process of engagement, we are now inviting design proposals which will need to meet the criteria developed by the Citizens Panel:
1. Include an apology
2. Is thought provoking and forever
3. Honours victims and survivors, those lives lost, lives ruined and those who are still suffering
4. Ensures that what happened does not get forgotten and stops the past being repeated
5. Is easily accessible to the public
6. Is highly visible and cannot be ignored. A memorial should be located in a highly prominent position so that all are constantly reminded of the injustice that took place and how the children were failed in the care system. It should remind the Jersey government as the corporate parents (i.e. acting parents), but not shock the survivors and bring back memories
7. Is meaningful to a range of experiences suffered in the whole care system
8. Is a transparent and clear acknowledgment of what happened
In response to the back lash Sam Mezec has said,
they can give us feedback, and that’s ultimately a more constructive way to have their voice heard than a petition.
There has been online backlash from survivors and the general public when the three designs were revealed last week.
Many have mocked one of the designs for it’s appearance resembling All 4’s daring dating series that starts where some good dates might end – naked. And others have thought it to be a LGBT related statue.
Other Child abuse survivors have come forward to say how this Memorial has triggered ptsd and have had to get psychiatric help since the news was first revealed.