'Partner for Prevention' - Cops urge Jamaicans to join campaign against domestic violence
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is calling on all Jamaicans to be a 'Partner for Prevention' against domestic violence on Tuesday, which is being marked as Valentine's Day,
This comes against the force's recently rolled out anti-domestic/intimate partner violence awareness campaign called 'Love Me To Live, Don't Love Me To Death'.
With increased levels of violence against women in Jamaica, many of which are committed by their partners or ex-partners, the JCF is ramping up its awareness and intervention efforts in what is often dismissed as 'just man and woman business'.
The 'Love Me To Live, Don't Love Me To Death' initiative was conceptualised by acting police commissioner Novelette Grant, who is a vocal advocate against intimate partner abuse.
Month of love
According to Grant: "February is traditionally seen as the month of love and so provides a timely opportunity for us to focus the spotlight on the problem of domestic violence and abuse to raise awareness and make a call for action to stop intimate partner abuse and violence."
The acting commissioner is urging every Jamaica to partner and network to provide the environment for victims of abuse to speak up and be supported.
"Show understanding and empathy and refrain from blaming those who suffer from this crime. Remember, domestic violence is not a private matter; it is a crime and must be treated as such," said Grant.
JCF corporate communications director Nathelie Taylor added: "This campaign is one of the transformative legacy projects that form part of the JCF's 150th anniversary celebrations and aims to reconstruct how intimate partner love is viewed, communicated and acted upon.
"It is all too common for persons to casually say 'mi love you to death' in exuberant expressions of the love they possess for someone. Unfort-unately, it is a phrase so ingrained in our culture and accepted as a natural sentiment that no thought is given to its destructive undertones."
Taylor added: "Valentine's Day is touted as the most romantic day of the year; however, for women or girls who have been or who are being abused the day is a brutal reminder of their pain. So we want to dedicate the day to these women and girls, call on persons to remember and support them, and raise awareness of and activism around intimate partner and domestic violence."
The JFC corporate communication director said companies can 'partner for prevention' on Valentine's Day through simple means such as hosting sensitisation sessions to highlight domestic/intimate partner violence issues, inviting members of the force to address staff, or even organise a group of staff to visit shelters for abused women to uplift and inspire on the day.