Support to victims is critical to end gender-based violence - Grange
The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange said that providing support to victims is critical in the strategy to end gender violence.
Speaking at the opening ceremony for the newly renovated and expanded Woman Inc Shelter in Kingston on Wednesday, Grange said, "Shelters and safe havens are vital components in reducing the incidence of gender-based violence. They not only provide safe accommodation for women and children who experience abuse, but also provide the psycho-social support required to break down the barriers that discourage and prevent women and children from seeking assistance."
The shelter, which is operated by Woman Inc, was renovated with assistance from the United States Agency for International Development.
The minister said that while support is offered to the victims, "we must also find, punish and rehabilitate the perpetrators if we are to deal with this horrible crime.
"Our Government's National Strategic Action Plan to eliminate gender-based violence has provisions to deal with the perpetrators," she added.
"As part of the plan, we will principally through the Bureau of Gender Affairs continue to sensitise and bring awareness to this issue of gender-based violence to shore up the efforts to prevent gender-based violence and provide protection to victims and survivors, while we make special provision for the treatment of witnesses of gender-based violence."