We all shed tears

Elizabeth Francis
Posted June 4, 2021 from Trinidad and Tobago

I live on a beautiful tiny island in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago known for its rich multi ethnic culture, the home of the greatest carnival on earth, and the inventor of the only musical instrument of the 20th century the steel drum. We are known for much more as well, our beautiful  sun kissed beaches, tasty street food, our natural rain forest and I can go on and on 

But lately we are also known for an ever increasing rise in domestic violence against our women. In fact 2020 was one of the most violent 46 women killed and 21 of them at the hands of men they loved.The total no. of reported cases of violence in the home were 556. 

For a country with a population of only 1.4 million it is a worrying revelation. The increase  in cases has come also during this pandemic period, with more families together at  home for an extended period  due to lockdown measures 

We have marched, we have stood with candles and cried, we have raised our voices, advocated for change, put systems in place, hotlines, upon  hotlines but still in the spur of the moment it's not a lifeline.

We have questioned why, wonder where we have gone wrong and we are not alone. The WHO says the one in every 3 women  that s 30%of women globally, have experienced physical or sexual abuse, that's a startling reality.

Countless studies and reasons are given for this misbehaviour of perpetrators and much has been written about the health consequences to victims, the social and economic cost, and the impact on the lives of children and immediate families and communities as a whole 

It pains us when a sister s light is snuffed out, whether at the hands of one she loves or one that has violated her right to life. Changed behaviour begins with parenting and educating. 

Any act of violence against   women is too much. There's work to be continued and more to be  done globally. Our men and boys need help. Survivors need a broad spectrum of care and attention Funding need to be allocated to implement prevention   and protection policies. 

 

It is my dream to one day be able to provide an opportunity for a fresh start. An eco system where young girls and women can be safe from domestic violence and abuse ,in an environment conducive to making a fresh start, empowered to empower others. 

 

This story was submitted in response to Gender-Based Violence.

Comments 15

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Olutosin
Jun 04
Jun 04

My sister thank you for adding to the voices. Sometime ago, I watched a video...it was a live church broadcast... a woman was shot dead by her husband's son. In T and T.

I was scared. A sacred space desecrated by such a demon.

May violence against us seize to exist.

Dream Big because dreams do come true.

Elizabeth Francis
Jun 05
Jun 05

Oh thank you my sister for taking time to read my pitch to raise my voice, but that incident actually happened in Jamaica, Caribbean, not Trinidad.

Olutosin
Jun 05
Jun 05

Ohhhh thank you my sister for correcting me. Its sad sad.

Nini Mappo
Jun 04
Jun 04

oh Elizabeth:/ those are very worrying numbers. And that's just the thing, that they are not numbers, but women like you and I who had dreams and plans, taken away by unspeakable violence.
You have depth of insight in pointing out that systems, laws and hotlines are not a lifeline in the spur of the moment, and that what we need is a change in how men view women, how we raise our sons and mentor the grown ones.
Keep speaking up, and creating an oasis of hope and change in your community.

Elizabeth Francis
Jun 05
Jun 05

Hi my sister thanks for taking time to read my contribution. Yes indeed a lot more need to be done even as we raise our voices, it's too painful when even one woman loses her life, you are right, no. s does represent real people, we all must do our part

rebecca.tang
Jun 08
Jun 08

I am upset to hear this. Violence should not be tolerated. We need to increase the awareness on this. I hope the local government can stop this and NGOs can help the women.
Please keep the speak out this out! Stay safe!
May Almighty God bless you all!

Elizabeth Francis
Jun 17
Jun 17

Hi rebbeca my sister, yes good news is there's a lot of advocacy fir change especially this year a lot has already been done even in the midst of the pandemic, laws have been amended, the police set up app especially for women to provide a faster response. Churches, NGOs and cooperate bodies all do their part. There are councelling services, shelters and many awareness programmes, yet women fail to leave the situation or if they do, still allow some sort of interaction with the eventual killer. There's only so much a society can do. The notion that that person you share your life with doesn't have it in him to harm you, has turned out in most cases to be false. How do you force women to step away from a lifestyle and trust a system, how do you make starting all over again not as daunting?

Beth Lacey
Jun 09
Jun 09

This is such a terrible situation. I grieve for you and all the women there. Please stay safe.

Elizabeth Francis
Jun 17
Jun 17

Yes, Beth it is worrying for a small oil rich nation, there's been no holding back of resources that has been put into finding solutions, but it literally boils down to individuals being confident in the system to step out their comfort zones.

Honorine Ngenwi
Jun 10
Jun 10

Hello Eli its a petty my sister. You really need to start intervaining in your own little way while God will support you by with more strength and protection.
My regards

Elizabeth Francis
Jun 17
Jun 17

Definitely my dear, I do support tha work of many of the NGOs here that provide amazing outreach. But I also have my own vision for an ecosystem of empowerment on which with God's help.. Will come to realty

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Jun 11
Jun 11

Greetings dear Elizabeth,
Unfortunately the year 2020 exploded all around the world with new and repeated domestic abuse cases. A sad fact of mental and sexual abuse at a tremendous high and the pandemic shed a light on what was most likely brewing in millions of households already but nevertheless it is NEVER ever a excuse to put a hand on women, girls or our children.
I hope we can educate our male children and equally our female children that this is not accepted and not a tolerable cultural norm in today's society. Violence corrupts and kills as we are witnessing today and destroys families and future generations.
My charity org Queen Sheba Village shares the vision to eradicate this evil hell and educate, and provide resources to women in our workshops as we move forward.
Thank you for sharing such a important article that needs to be addressed to provide solutions and implement CHANGE Now!
sincerely,
Mama Queen
www.queenshebavillage.org

Elizabeth Francis
Jun 17
Jun 17

You are welcomed, sharing brings awareness and support.
I appreciate your support and words of wisdom, I did browse your website, congrats to you and your team and the great work you do as well. Keep on shining, keep on raising your voice, together we will all win

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Jun 17
Jun 17

Thank you my dear Elizabeth, I appreciate your response,
Mama Queen

Change lady
Jun 12
Jun 12

Dear Sister Elizabeth,
Thank you for your voice. Indeed women and girls have suffered globally. We are the true change. The freedom from abuse needs fearless leaders like you. Together we shall one day win.
In sisterhood
Change Lady.