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Prayerful end to ‘youth gender’ week

Published:Monday | January 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMLeon Jackson

Western Bureau:

The Northern Trelawny Youth Gender and Sports Committee completed its week of activities, which focused on violence against women and children, with a walk through the districts of Hague and Martha Brae and a prayer vigil in Falmouth.

The week of activities started last Sunday with a church service at the William Knibb Baptist Church, and continued with a forum at Clarke's Town Primary School, where participants were encouraged to embrace the theme: 'Speak Up Speak Out, Act Now, Violence against Women'.

At the prayer vigil, Deacon Lois Bryce of William Knibb Baptist Church said a special prayer, asking God to guide the steps of the women and children so that they will not come to harm or engage in wrongdoing.

"Lord, if we as women have failed in our duty to our children, guide us along a path which will help us to put things right, " prayed Bryce.

Constable Gerd Dixon, who is attached to the Falmouth Police Station, gave an overview of what the police faced in its daily fight against the violence being meted out to women and children. He encouraged women to seek to become independent.

"Get a job and gain the respect of the men in your lives," the policeman said. Failure to do that, he indicated, was "a pathway to violence against you".

According to Dixon, the interventions being carried out by the police have started to reap rewards, as victims of sexual molestations have started coming forward and telling their stories.

"Already from our interventions, female students have come forward to speak with the police and to seek help to address situations of abuse facing them," said Dixon. "We have had complaints of sexual touching and sexual grooming. If our venture can help even one female, then we can claim success."