Rotary Club of May Pen puts domestic violence under microscope
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
Pastor Keith Fearon of the Apostolic Seventh-day Church had a roomful of forum attendees cheering as he took the covers off the Church's habit of hiding domestic violence.
"As a pastor, I believe that the Church is not doing enough. Many times, we use the Bible and swing it our own way, telling people, 'Stay in the marriage, the Bible doesn't believe in divorce', and all of those things. And when we look, the reality is that these people are hurting and we have not done anything," he said.
Fearon made the call for pastors to stop hiding it under the rug and point the victims to the many channels of help, such as restorative justice.
"But what we do, we like to keep it in as pastors. Pastors don't like to lose members to anything, but we have to leave from that position and get help for the Church," he said.
Fearon was speaking at a Domestic Violence Month forum, hosted by the Rotary Club of May Pen at Hotel Versalles.
Former Assistant Commissioner of Police Derrick Cochrane, acknowledging that domestic conflict is one of the major drivers of crimes in Jamaica, urged stakeholders to adopt an initiative that was implemented in Manchester about five years ago - the Manchester Dispute Resolution and Violence Prevention Association task force, which saw stakeholders interacting with communities across the parish and having members trained in mediation and counselling by Dr Grace Kelly.