Minister of Gender and Child Affairs in the Officer of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy is calling on citizens to remember the value of human life.
In a statement a today, she mourned the recent senseless killing of two children and those women who lost their lives to violence.
Webster-Roy said “The recent increase in crimes against our women and children is alarming and is not acceptable to the Government and must not be tolerated by anyone living in this country. We must all stand in solidarity for a zero tolerance of this unwanted and unwarranted violence.”
“The government has a zero tolerance to all forms of violence; domestic violence, family violence, child abuse, rape and gang violence.
She said: “The Gender Affairs Division will continue its work at changing the mind-sets, norms and stereotypes through various programmes undertaken in collaboration with our partners in an effort to change behaviours surrounding violence in this society.
Human life is irreplaceable and sacred, and this should be emphasised throughout one’s life and personal development.
There will always be differences of opinion, tensions, hostilities and ambivalences between men and women, but this cannot be the solution to addressing these conflicts.”
The onus is on all of us to take responsibility for our thoughts, attitudes and behaviours toward violence, knowing that there is a penalty and a price that is paid when people act from a place of anger and hate. The long-term effects of violence are hard to reconcile, and the rehabilitation and healing process may far exceed the injury sustained in this act.”
Change starts with each individual doing their part to end the senseless killing of our women and children by promoting behaviours and attitudes, which will bring about inner peace and peace in homes and communities. As individuals, we must make conscious decisions and do better and be better.”
An all of society approach is crucial to combat violence within families and protect those most vulnerable. Today I am making a call to everyone to end all forms of gender based violence and support the zero tolerance for family violence.
“I call on all faith-based organisations, the church leaders, the community organisations and their members, community leaders, state agencies and their staff, the trade unions, all employers, non-government organisations and academic organisations to support the zero tolerance for family violence and in particular, all forms of gender based violence.
Please begin with earnest to promulgate a standard of behaviour that promotes care and protection within our families and communities.
Take action within your community with the available resources, the people on the street, the men on the playfield.
Take action, even if taking action means keeping an eye out for the innocent young boys and girls. Take action, even if taking action involves calling the police or making a suitable intervention. Take action, even if taking action simply means referring your friend for help or talking to your brothers and your partners. You can help! You see, you hear, you know it is happening: YOU MUST HELP. If you care and want to protect, you will not resort to violence or promote a culture of violence.
We must take back control of our communities and families from these evil forces. It must be a collaborative effort. It must start with you supporting the safety and security of those who live in your community.
No man, woman or child needs to suffer in silence as help is available. Through the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services, free and confidential counselling is available for all, including those who believe that they are a risk to others.
Additionally, the Gender Affairs Division of the Office of the Prime Minister has partnered with Eutelmed and UNICEF to offer free and confidential E-counselling Services, which is available 24/7.
To access this E-counselling service, please log-on to caring.eutelmed.com and enter the password code: UNICEF-ECA to receive help from competent counsellors who are willing and ready to provide a listening ear and professional advice. If you need help, please call the Police at 999, the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-SAVE (7283), Children’s Authority at 996 and ChildLine at 131.