Unite to save our families, says Minister Webster-Roy

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Unite to save our families, says Minister Webster-Roy

Minister with responsibility for child and gender affairs, Ayanna Webster-Roy, is calling on the nation to unite and save “our families.”

In a release, she joined the nation in condemning the violent act on a mother and the serious injury inflicted on the woman’s 13-year-old son when the child came to her defence during a domestic violence incident.

The incident, which occurred last weekend, left the teen from San Juan wounded to the face and eye.

Webster-Roy, said she offered her sincerest prayers for a speedy and full recovery for both mother and son, adding:
“Violence against women and children is preventable and the responsibility to put an end to these unwanted acts belongs to all of us. We will never see an end to violence against our women and children if we refuse to confront the culture, attitudes and behaviours that allow this abomination to thrive.”

She said violence against our women and children is a societal issue, and ending it requires an all-of-society approach to ensure that families and communities are places of safety.

“As we continue to implement safeguarding mechanisms and encourage awareness on the needs of the most vulnerable in our society, I want to encourage families to seek out essential services upon the first sign of distress,” Webster-Roy said.

“Please do not wait. It may never get better with time or on its own.”

For counselling and other services, people can call the National Family Services Division of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services at 623-2608, extensions 6701 to 6711 or Childline at 131 or 800-4321.

Webster-Roy reminded families, and the public, by extension, that all suspected cases should be reported to the relevant authorities in addressing matters of child abuse.

People can report it to the police at 999 and the Children’s Authority hotline at 996 or 800-2014.

People who want to report domestic/gender-based violence can call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-SAVE (7283) or the police.

Webster-Roy added, “Every life taken, every child emotionally or physically scarred is one too many.”

“The division stands in solidarity with every man, woman and child. Let us unite to end domestic violence and all forms of child abuse in our beloved country.”