Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Letter of the Day | Solidarity with Nugent, Tambourine Army

Published:Saturday | March 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM



This is an open letter to the Jamaican Government.

Sacred Women International was gravely disappointed to hear that Latoya Nugent was arrested and subsequently hospitalised for allegedly breaching Jamaica's Cybercrimes Act.

The arrest comes on the heels of a powerful march and protest that was held last weekend to challenge and denounce violence against women (VAW) across the Caribbean. The Tambourine Army has been a powerful force supporting all women in being heard and held as they survive the impacts and effects of rape and other forms of violence against women and girls.

We, Sacred Women International, stand in solidarity with Latoya, the Tambourine Army (which she co-founded) and all survivors of Violence Against Women. We join with Latoya in working towards "...chang(ing) the culture we have of assigning blame and shame to survivors ... . We want to place it at the feet of perpetrators and change the current narrative."

The statistics for violence against women are staggering, not just for Jamaican women, but across the world.

According to UN Women an "... estimated ... 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime." Beyond the statistics, from our lived experiences as survivors and supporters of survivors, statistics only show a fraction of the picture. Centring women's and girls' voices in creating healing practices and changing systems are key tools in eliminating violence against women and changing people and practices that protect and exonerate abusers.

In addition to being in complete solidarity with Latoya, the Tambourine Army and their supporters, we continue to pray complete restoration and renewal of Latoya's health as she and they continue this influential work on behalf of those who are thriving and surviving gender violence.

Sacred Women International