#Jamaica – January 16, 2020 — Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, has condemned the recent acts of violence against women.
“I join with my fellow Jamaicans to express outrage that there are misguided persons who believe that the lives of our women can be arbitrarily snatched away just like that,” she said.
“These killings re-enforce the need for more sensitisation on the ground as to why there is no excuse for abuse, as well as why we have to, every one of us, continue building more safe spaces for women, so that they can safely transition to normalcy on fleeing toxic relationships,” Ms. Grange added.
The Minister was delivering a Statement in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (January 14).
Gender-based violence can be perpetrated in many forms, such as psychological, physical, sexual and economic.
Ms. Grange noted that it is a reflection of the culture of violence and silence and is reinforced by various structural and systemic inequalities in the home, in socio-economic systems and systems of justice.
“The issue of gender-based violence is considered to be a complex characterisation, as its private nature can sometimes reduce the likelihood of the victim or witness to report, and oftentimes leads to unfortunate cases of lives being lost, almost lost or individuals being injured,” she explained.
The police have reported 34 murders in the first 11 days of this year and these include some of the productive women and girls who are the backbone of the society.
Ms. Grange further appealed for persons to utilise the Domestic Violence Intervention Centres operated by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which were created to deal with domestic violence.
The Centres offer professional counselling, referrals to appropriate agencies, follow-ups with clients and credible and reliable information. Counselling is provided by trained and certified volunteer counsellors and chaplains who are trained in handling domestic violence matters.
The Minister also assured the public that the Government has continued to pursue legislative solutions for enhanced security measures and will intensify the ‘No Excuse For Abuse’ public education campaign, to ensure that the “scourge of gender-based violence is treated with urgent attention and strong operational measures”.
“I wish to appeal to persons who are involved in situations of conflict, to seek the necessary counselling and psychosocial support. Too often these situations result in acts of violence and are often life-threatening and rob our families of hard-working and productive community members,” she added.
Meanwhile, Ms. Grange informed that the Bureau of Gender Affairs’ Community Liaison Branch conducts outreach activities to address the social issues affecting the public.
This, she said, is facilitated through the community intervention programmes undertaken across the 14 parishes.
“We do human service providers training sessions. These sessions target persons who work with individuals, families and communities who may directly or indirectly experience gender-based violence. These professionals include social workers, police officers, nurses, doctors, health aids, among others,” she noted.
From 2018 to 2019, some 23 human service provider sessions were facilitated. A total of 889 individuals were sensitised, 620 females and 269 males.
In addition, students are equipped with skills to mitigate and prevent various forms of school-related gender-based violence.
During the period of 2018 to 2019, some 2,388 students (1,643 females and 745 males) were sensitised.
PRESS RELEASE, JIS, JANUARY 15, 2020