Fri | Jan 15, 2021

Help coming for women-beaters

Published:Thursday | November 26, 2020 | 12:18 AMChristopher Serju/Senior Gleaner Writer
Deputy dIrector of the United Nations Population Fund, Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean, Seth Broekman (left), discusses the scourge of violence against women and children with deputy head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Fredrick Ekfeldt,
Deputy dIrector of the United Nations Population Fund, Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean, Seth Broekman (left), discusses the scourge of violence against women and children with deputy head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Fredrick Ekfeldt, who admitted that he had been personally affected by the global issue. Both men were presenters at Wednesday observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

The Holness administration is crafting intervention for men who batter and scar Jamaican women and children, oftentimes leaving the victims burdened by trauma long after their physical wounds have healed.

An initiative to be spearheaded by the Bureau of Gender Affairs will be modelled along the lines of the Restorative Justice Programme in the Ministry of Justice, which uses conflict-resolution mechanisms to settle disputes between victims and perpetrators.

The disclosure was made by Minister of Gender Affairs Olivia Grange during observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Kingston.

Speaking at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, Grange told her audience that effectively tackling intimate partner violence would only be successful through rehabilitative treatment for the perpetrators.

“We can’t give up on our men. We have to find a way to help them to be better citizens and better human beings, and that will help in reducing gender-based violence against our women and our children,” she said in endorsement of the programme.

Citing data, Grange described violence against women and girls as the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human-rights violation in the world.

One out of every four women in Jamaica has been physically abused or threatened with a weapon by her male partner, Grange said. The same ratio of women in Jamaica have been sexually abused by men who are not their intimate partners.

The majority of men who sexually abused women were friends or acquaintances, and one out of every five women reported being sexually abused before they reached the age of 18, the minister added.

“It continues to be a major obstacle to the fulfilment of women’s and girls’ human rights and occurs worldwide, cutting across all generations, all nationalities, all communities and spheres of our societies, irrespective of age, ethnicity, disability, or other background,” Grange said.