Remember I said I was working on a few new aspects in order to bring more depth to the blog??? Well today’s post is the first of those and will be on raising awareness for the issue of Domestic violence and violence against women.
After the sad and unfortunate incident which happened in my country, just a couple days after closing domestic violence awareness month, I felt it necessary to contribute to creating awareness for Domestic violence since we all have a part to play in being our brother’s keeper. (Read story Here).
My quest to create greater awareness for the cause brought me to a discussion with the Acting Director of the Bureau of Gender Affairs Ms. Kyra Paul. From just entering the office I could already feel a sense of warmth and security, and the welcoming nature of the team there was very well noted.
My conversation with Ms. Paul was both enlightening and informative and brought to the fore the many avenues that the bureau continues to explore in order to bring support to all who may be in need.
In responding to the question “how does the bureau feel about the recent incident and what is it’s stance?” Ms. Paul replied … “The bureau has planned a silent protest which will be held at the EC Loblack Bridge during the lunch hour on Friday November 13, 2015 at which time we will address that issue.”
Her response warmed my heart. As she went on to state plans that the bureau has for an upcoming “16 Days of Activism Campaign” I could not help but smile and nod in appreciation of the work that they are doing in order to bring awareness to the issue of Domestic and gender-based violence. The bureau has provided support services to victims through counselling, placement and other financial and material support and through greater collaboration with other agencies the bureau plans to do much more in the future.
Ms. Paul noted that the issue of sexual abuse, especially among our children, is another area of great concern for the bureau. But with greater awareness among our people the right steps and measures are being followed and implemented in dealing with that issue.
Ms. Paul advises that violence against women and girls is a two-fold issue. It is a gender issue in that the rights of women are violated and creates vulnerability to sexual and other health issues. It also affects productivity because violating women causes decreased productivity at work which in turn leads to economic and development issues.
In closing she stated that “the onus is on all of us. We have the responsibility to protect ourselves, but we also have the responsibility to protect others and not to harm others. If we work on the basic principle of the Bible which is to love, and to love others, then we would not want to harm someone else”.
What a wonderful closing to a beautiful discussion.
Domestic violence awareness is indeed on the onus of every one of us. You can contact your local office for ways in which you are able to assist in bringing awareness to your loved ones. The local office in Dominica is located on 106 Independence Street and their contact is 266-3344. You can also head to Facebook and like their page Here for further information on upcoming activities.
Your support will be greatly appreciated for the upcoming protest as well as other events planned as part of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. The campaign launches on November 25, 2015 and that day has been dubbed “orange day” in observance of International day for the Elimination of Violence against women. You can stay tuned to my Facebook page for further details on the activities for the Activism Campaign as time progresses.
I am Joanne Guiste and I am against Domestic Violence. So lets show our support Lovies and come along to the protest wearing orange or come with your placards as we all play our part in bringing awareness to Domestic violence.
Kisses my Lovies