To promote the symbol of the blue teddy with a plaster on its heart, designed to raise awareness of child sexual abuse, incest, and implications for HIV/AIDS

The visual symbol of the Break the Silence action research project is a blue teddy bear. This image has come to symbolize security, love, care, comfort and relationships. The plaster across the teddy bear’s heart was designed to offer a sense of hope and healing. Blue underlines the popular idiom for “feeling blue,” or feelings of hurt, sadness and despair. Overall, the symbol signals a call to awareness of issues raised by the Break the Silence project, particularly Child Sexual Abuse/incest, gender and implications for HIV/AIDS.

The angle and shape of the blue teddy is specifically designed to invoke other awareness or activism ribbons. Blue was chosen since it is the color that represents Child Abuse in the United States. A Blue Ribbon Campaign against child abuse originated there in 1989 when a mother tied a blue ribbon to her car antenna as a tribute to her grandson who died at the hands of his abusive father. Similarly, in 1991, the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus from New York created a symbol to demonstrate compassion for people living with AIDS and their caregivers. Inspired by the yellow ribbons honoring American soldiers serving in the Gulf War, they chose the color red, for its connection to blood and the idea of passion, not only anger, but love, like a valentine. The Red Ribbon continues to be a powerful force in the fight to increase public awareness of HIV/AIDS and in the lobbying efforts to increase funding for AIDS services and research globally. Likewise, this blue teddy symbol is intended to be used as a consciousness-raising symbol, not as a commercial or trademark tool.

The blue teddy bear symbol originates with us in Trinidad, West Indies. It was developed by graphic artist and designer Kenneth Scott, under the direction of Kathryn Chan (BTS Media Coordinator) from IGDS, UWI, St. Augustine, and in consultation with: Elspeth Duncan (BTS documentary photographer); Tracie Rogers and Maureen Searles from CADV; Camille Quamina, from Arts in Action (AiA) of the Dept. of Creative and Festival Arts, UWI, St. Augustine, and Tisha Nickenig (BTS Project Manager) of IGDS, UWI, St. Augustine.

Breaking the Silence: Child Sexual Abuse with a Special Emphasis on Incest: A Multi-Sectoral Approach is one of two initiatives of the Institute for Gender and Developments Studies, St. Augustine Campus research programme: Gender, Sexuality and Implications for HIV. The overall aim of the programme is to integrate the analysis of gender and sexuality into research and action related to HIV.

This particular project is led by Professor Rhoda Reddock, Deputy Principal of the St Augustine Campus and Dr Sandra Reid, lecturer in the Dept. of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences. It focuses on breaking the silence that has surrounded incest and other forms of child sexual abuse in Trinidad and Tobago.

It is an action oriented research project of the IGDS, St. Augustine, in collaboration with CADV, the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Other partners to date include Arts in Action, Dept. of Creative and Festival Arts, UWI St. Augustine and Toco Foundation, Toco. The project is funded by UNICEF and the United Nations Trust Fund for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

NOVEMBER AND APRIL of each year.
Break the Silence recognizes the UN 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December)
and April the month that is now recognized as child abuse awareness month globally.

UPCOMING Launch of Media to be made available to all: 24th NOVEMBER 2011
The BTS symbol
The BTS Documentary
The BTS Webisodes
The BTS Soap Opera
The BTS Music CD
The BTS Pledge
The BTS Website
The BTS Network