The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment  and Sport will be ramping up its public education programme on domestic violence across the island. Gender minister Olivia Grange says this is one means of getting the involvement of key players to address the problem. She was speaking at the women’s voice and leadership event- a project geared towards improving management and sustainability of local women’s rights groups that represent vulnerable and marginalised women and girls.

Domestic violence remains a social issue that many are aware of but are still failing to report. There was a gruesome death in St. Elizabeth on Sunday night – a woman, Nevia Sinclair stabbed to death by her ex boyfriend at her family’s home.

Global estimates show that 1 in 3 women worldwide experience either physical and or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.

“It impacts everybody. Your next door neighbour – if you know that something you have a responsibility to intervene because you would be saving lives,” Minister of Gender Olivia Grange says. ” We will be providing shelters for women so they can get out of relationships that could endanger their lives.”

Grange says the local gender advisory council is now focused on greater education, prevention and legal representation for victims of domestic abuse. Domestic violence is an issue that other nations appear to be tackling with some success. The High Commissioner of Canada Laurie Peters proposes that there is a need to empower women and girls in Jamaica to promote gender equality.

“We applaud Jamaica for their national strategic action which they have not only put in place but have activated,” she says.

The number of killings linked to domestic violence has also been observed by the ministry of national security. Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang has indicated that the government will be implementing legislation to ensure greater protection for women, children and the elderly and bring perpetrators to justice.

Khadijah Thomas