(CMR) The Gender Affairs Unit in the Cayman Islands Government invites members of the public to join the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign being observed from tomorrow, 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The annual international campaign is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
Premier and Minister for Gender Affairs, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, appealed to the public to demonstrate solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.
“Activism is a sanitizing light that shines into the darkest corners. Although violence against women continues to be pervasive, with severe adverse implications on the individual and society, research has shown that activism can help stimulate disclosure of socially sensitive crimes such as rape and sexual assault, so every year, the Cayman Islands Government is committed to joining the United Nations Women in this mission to help empower women and girls everywhere,” she said.
As part of local activities, the Family Resource Centre in the Ministry of Health and Wellness is currently hosting a three-day Domestic Violence Intervention Training Programme for front-line professionals working with families who experience domestic violence. The training, which started on 22 November and ends today, Friday, 24 November, provides participants with information and skills to identify, respond and intervene effectively in a trauma-informed sensitive manner.
In addition, the Centre’s annual Clothesline Project will be displayed across all public health clinics throughout the observance of the campaign.
The project brings together male and female survivors of all forms of violence as well as their supporters to design t-shirts as a testament to their experience. The decorated shirts form part of the display.
“The solutions to ending gender-based violence are nuanced and include public education, attitudinal change at the individual level, as well as broader societal changes aimed at reducing structural inequalities, bias and discrimination. This year’s theme, “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”, makes clear we must invest as a community and country in gender-based violence prevention resources. We are grateful to our partners, including FRC and the Business and Professional Women’s Club. for being activists every day. I thank members of the community in joining the cause over the next 16 days,” said Karlene Bramwell, Senior Policy Analyst in the Gender Affairs Unit.
Across the globe, violence against women and girls remains the most prevalent human rights violation. Global statistics show that more than 1 in 3 women experience gender-based violence during their lifetime and that more than 5 women or girls are killed every hour by someone in their own families. Figures also show that less than 40% of those who do experience violence never seek any kind of help.
Government resources for persons experiencing gender-based violence may be accessed through agencies such as Family Resource Centre and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. Members of the public can also learn more by visiting www.gau.gov.ky.
The Cayman Islands has observed 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence since 1996.