'Real men don't rape!' This was the relentless chant of those who took to the streets of the Corporate Area yesterday to stand against and condemn violence and sexual crimes against women and children.
Beginning their march at 10 in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, members of the crowd, most of whom were dressed in black, braved the heat of the morning sun as they made their way to Cross Roads holding placards that stated their feelings.
Government ministers, opposition spokespersons, women's groups, church members and civil society joined members of the public for the march.
Many spoke about the pregnant women killed earlier this year; the five females, including an eight-year-old, raped in St James; the 11-year-old allegedly impregnated by the 63-year-old common-law husband of her grandaunt in St Ann; the two boys in Trelawny who died under questionable circumstances, among other atrocities committed against women and children.
Sandrea Falconer, minister without portfolio with responsibility for information in the Office of the Prime Minister, told the crowd that "this was the start of a new journey in Jamaica to say time to end abuse of all forms".
Government moving on legislation
She assured that the Government was moving to put in place legislation to properly deal with the issues.
Stating that many children were being abused by people they know, Lisa Hanna, minister of youth and culture, said the time had come to take back the country. She encouraged women who know or suspect that any man may be molesting a child to turn them in to the authorities.
Asking everyone to sing God is standing by, Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, opposition spokesperson on youth, sports, gender affairs, entertainment and culture, said there were too many situations where children were being savaged and their privacy invaded. She said the nation needed to work together to put an end to it.