(CMR) The Business and Professional Women's Club of Grand Cayman (BPW) 19th annual Silent Witness March was held yesterday afternoon in the country's capital.
Participants join in the two-mile march to not only show their support of survivors of domestic violence and bullying, and to stand up for those suffering in silence, but also to remember those who have lost their lives as a result.
In 2000, BPW Cayman established the Silent Witness March as a small tribute to those who have lost their lives due to, or have been impacted by, domestic violence.
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Historically under-reported, domestic violence victims have often suffered in silence, something which in many cases has had fatal consequences.
“BPW is encouraged that reporting in Cayman has quadrupled in the past 5 years but so much work still must be done. This year's theme, Remember My Story, Remember My Name, encourages a move away from the stigma often associated with the topic – towards open and honest discussions about domestic violence and it's victims (women, men, children). “Cheryl Myles, BPW Silent Witness March Chair
The Silent Witness March started at 3:30 p.m. at the Government Administration Building, passed the George Town Police Station and ended at Hero's Square. Participants included several performing groups and children. CMR understands that the Needs Assessment Unit closed early to allow all staff members to also participate in the event.
This year, a regional collaboration is being put forth with a sister chapter in Dominica also holding a March at the same time.
BPW collaborated with some key community advocates to host this year's march including Gender Affairs Unit CIG, Family Resource Centre and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.
“We believe that we are stronger together, by combining our ideas, energy and resources; we hope to increase public awareness of these issues that affect so many in our community,”Karlene Bramwell – GAU’s Senior Policy Analyst (Gender, Diversity and Equality)
GAU contributed $500 to offset the cost of staging the march, which ends with a ceremony on the steps of the Legislative Assembly.