Men who are the main perpetrators of violence against women are being urged to take responsibility and end the abuse of women.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, Olivia Grange, made the appeal on Tuesday, November 6, during a statement to the House of Representatives. She also gave an update on work being done toward setting up a National Shelter to care for victims of domestic and gender based violence.
The minister identified men as the main perpetrators of these heinous crimes against women and children.
She implored them to take responsibility for their actions and stated that they play an integral role in ending domestic and gender-based violence.
“The conduct, behavior and attitudes of men must change if we are to end sexual harassment and abuse of women and children everywhere. Men need to stand up to end violence against women, children and other men,” Ms Grange said.
To effectively tackle the scourge of gender-based violence plaguing the Jamaican society, the Minister is also suggesting a collective effort.
“We must expose the brutes, help the security forces to find them, and provide the evidence for the courts to put them away…. I keep saying, that we can end violence, but it requires all of us to end the violence,” Grange said.
She added: “The violent attacks over the last few weeks must serve to remind us all, that we simply cannot be complacent. We all must restate our commitment to eliminating violence against women and children and redouble our efforts to making this a safer world for all of us.”
The minister said that this kind of violence must also be addressed from a legislative perspective and steps have been taken to do just that.
“We have been clear that we need stronger laws to deal with gender-based violence particularly sexual offences. For this reason, we reconvened the Joint-Select Committee to review laws relating to violence against women, children, the elderly, and persons living with disabilities.”
However, she stated that the laws will be powerless without the support of the people and of those who ensure that justice is served.
“The laws will only be deterrent if people believe that they will be enforced. People who like to abuse women and children will think again if they know they will be caught and punished.