Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton (centre), speaks with Executive
Director of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), Kandasi Levermore (left),
at a public forum on gender-based violence held at the Terra Nova All-Suite
Hotel, St. Andrew, on Wednesday (November 21). At left is Head of Delegation,
European Union (EU) in Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska.
Dave Reid/JIS Photo
Nearly 15 percent of all women in Jamaica, aged 15 to 49, who have ever married or partnered have experienced physical or sexual violence from a male partner in the previous 12 months.
This was revealed by Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, at a public forum on gender-based violence on Wednesday, November 21, at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew. The forum on was staged by Jamaica AIDS Support for Life in association with the EU, under the theme ‘Unmasking Violence against Women in the context of HIV and AIDS: Improving the National Response’.
Dr. Tufton was citing statistics from the Ministry’s soon-to-be released 2017 Knowledge, Attitude, Belief and Practice (KABP) report, which covers intimate-partner violence. He said that based on the report, the most prevalent violent acts experienced by women are: being pushed or shoved (17.7 percent); being slapped or having something thrown at them that could inflict harm (16.8 percent); and being hit with a fist or something that could cause harm (15.6 percent).
He noted that 3.7 percent per cent of the respondents reported being afraid of what their abuser would do if they refused to have sexual intercourse.
“Women who are the victims of sexual violence in particular, we know, are more vulnerable to HIV infection, given that HIV transmission risk increases in violent or forced-sex scenarios,” he said.
He argued that the fear of stigma associated with HIV may prevent women who are victims of sexual violence from being tested or otherwise from returning for the results and that those living with HIV may not even report the incident out of fear of being re-victimised.
By: Franklin McKnight